I made this stew for a dinner party last night, and it was yummy, a great winter meal, and the oxtail can be replaced with stewing / braising beef and will be just as tasty!!
The aroma in the kitchen is wonderful, you can smell the cinnamon and star anise a mile away.
I served it with cous cous and a long crusty grench loaf; to lap of the delicious sauce, along with a leafy green salad.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.8 to 2kg oxtail, cut into large pieces (ask your butcher)
2 red onions, chopped
3 large carrots, grated
3 large cloves garlic, grated
400ml red wine
2 400g tins Italian tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 400g tin of tomato and onion mix
10 sprigs thyme and 5 sprigs rosemary, coarsely chopped
Zest of half an orange, peeled in long strips
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 small peeled butternut squash, seeded, cut into 2-3cm chunks
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Busy:40 min, Total prep time: 3h30
Preheat the oven to 160°C
Poor the oil in a large, heavy-based oven-proof casserole dish with a well-fitting lid over high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the oxtail pieces on all sides and transfer them to a colander so any excess fat is drained away. Do this in batches otherwise the pieces will boil in their juices rather than fr
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from dish and add the onions, herbs, carrots and garlic. Cook over medium high heat for 10mins or until golden, stirring from time to time.
Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom. Cook until nearly all the wine has evaporated.
Add the tomatoes, orange zest, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, pepper and a pinch of salt. Place the oxtail pieces on top and cover with a large piece of baking paper placed directly on the oxtail. Cover the casserole securely with a heavy lid and bake for 3hrs, or until the meat comes away easily from the bone.
Remove the baking paper and take the meat pieces out. When they are cool enough the handle, pick all the meat from the bones and place it back in the casserole. Add the pumpkin or butternut squash pieces and some water if the dish is on the dry end.
Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30mins or until the pumpkin is tender. Check the seasoning and transfer to a large serving dish
Meanwhile, make the gremolata. Finely chop all the ingredients and mix them together.
Serve the oxtail stew in deep heated bowls or serving plates and scatter the gremolata over the top. Can be served with cous cous, rice, bulgar wheat.