Friday, 16 December 2011

Oxtail Stew and a Winter Challenge

UPDATE: I'm taking part in a blog challenge this year : The 5th Annual The Dark Days Challenge, which is all about local cooking. I noticed that I'd been pretty slack with eating local lately, so what better motivation than joining a blog challenge?! :D Every week I'll try and post one meal made mostly (or entirely) with local ingredients. I've started a little late because when I signed up I was put in the Lower New England/Mid Atlantic group (though I live in England, UK!) so was confused about whether I could take part but apparently I can, yay! I just happen to be the only English participant hehe. But no worries, I look forward to showcasing the wonderful local food England has to offer! :D. My first local meal is my oxtail stew:

Mmmmmm....Oxtail stew....(*cue Homer-Simpson-like drooling)

This has got to be one of my all time favourite foods/meals. You just can't beat oxtail! It's rich, tender, melt-in-the-mouth, gelatinous, meaty...deliciousness.

Technically it's a 'winter-dish' ; warm, comforting, perfect to dig into on a cold night. But I even make it in Summer. Call me crazy, but yeah, I have the oven on the whole day during Summer. Seriously, it's worth it!!

So, this is really simple to make (no recipe required per se), and involves simply chucking a bunch of stuff in a casserole dish (a Le Creuset  is my favourite, but use a crock-pot or any other dish suitable for stews), and filling it with a mixture of water and red wine.

I usually make it by separating the parts of one whole oxtail, marinating it in a few tsp of turmeric powder for a few hours (or just put the turmeric directly in the liquid), then covering with water, a 1/4 bottle of red wine, and some crushed rosemary. Bring it the boil then whack it in the oven for 3 hours. Then add some chopped celeriac or swede, greens (kale and chard are my fave), brussels sprouts or any other seasonal veg that I like, and maybe a few cloves of garlic if I'm in a garlicky mood. Back in the oven for two more hours or until tender. Done. The only thing to do next is tuck in with a fork and spoon for the delicious broth, and don't feel too bad about eating the entire oxtail in one evening  :)

My local food sources
Grassfed Oxtail - Wild beef (from Borough market)
Kale and chard - Wild country organics (from Notting Hill farmers market)
Swede and brussells sprouts- Ted's veg (Notting hill farmers market)

I'm submitting this to Fight back Fridays and Dark Days Challenge


  1. Hey, just posted first ever post on my blog: