Don’t be afraid to eat the oxtail with your hands! It is the only way to get the good meat off the bone.
- 1.2 kg oxtail
- cake flour for dusting
- oil and butter for frying
- 2 onions
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 medium size celery stalks
- 250 ml good quality beef stock
- 4 peeled tomatoes, diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- freshly ground black pepper and salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 pimento seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon chimichurri spice blend
- 2 potatoes, quartered
Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based lidded saucepan.
Dust the oxtail pieces with flour and fry in batches until brown.
Remove the oxtail from the pan and keep aside.
Brunoise the carrot, celery and onion. (A knife technique where julienned vegetable like onion, carrot, turnip, celery, etc. is stacked and cut from the end into a very small dice (1/8 – to 1/16 -inch cubes).
(The brunoise is the smallest dicing size in French cuisine.)
Fry the diced vegetables together in the saucepan for ± 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and fry for another 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the stock, all the spices and season to taste, mix together and add the meat.
Make sure the meat is covered with liquid in the saucepan, add water if necessary.
Place the lid on the pan and bake the dish in the preheated oven for 3 hours.
Add the potatoes after 3 hours and bake the dish further until potatoes are cooked through and the meat is tender and loose from the bone.
Total cooking time in the oven is about 4 – 5 hours until meat is tender.
Serve with a starch of your choice.
Recipe and photo: Elize de Kock and Amanda Conradie