Ox tail is a cut of meat that is often overlooked, but which is delicious when cooked slowly.
There are two fairly good rules of thumb, as far as cooking goes:
* The quality of the wine used in cooking should be as good as that which you would choose to drink – a poor quality wine will produce a poor dish.
* Offal and some of the ‘poorer’ cuts of meat need to be ‘cuisinÃ©’ well – there is no short-cut and the results, when cooked well are fantastic.
This is a real country ‘paysan’ food recipe – it really is surprisingly good and produces a better result that many cuts of steak cannot as they often end up dry and stringy.
Level : ***
Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Cooking Time : 3 hours
1 kg Ox tail
40cl Fronton red wine (you can also use Bordeaux, Corbières or Fitou)
3 medium onions (red or yellow)
3 tbsp Olive oil
10 green olives, destoned
4 rashers of fatty bacon (unsmoked)
1tbsp plain flour
Fresh black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 or 4 drops of Tabasco sauce
2 Chopped green onions
Cut the oxtail into sections, or get the butcher to do this for you.
Peel and chop the onions finely, peel and chop the parsnips and carrots into round slices about 2cm thick.
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based frying pan, brown the oxtail on all sides, add the onions, carrots and parsnips, season with the salt and pepper – cook until the carrots and onions are lightly browned. Reserve the parsnips aside until later. Add the flour to the pan, stirring well to coat the meat well.
Add the wine and bay leaves, stirring well to avoid lumps – put the bacon on top of the oxtail, cover and leave on a low heat, simmering for two and a half hours – stirring occasionally.
Add the olives, Tabasco and the parsnips to the pan, stir gently and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Check the seasoning, before serving, remove the bacon, if needed turn the heat up to reduce and thicken the sauce – sprinkle with the chopped green onions before serving.
Eat with, boiled potatoes or a purée made from 1/2 potatoes and 1/2 sweet potatoes, fresh Pain de Campagne and serve with a Fronton rouge such as Château Bellevue La Forêt or the wine you used for the sauce.
Bon Appétit !