Inspired by a recent visit to the Nuy Valley, I bought oxtail and cooked it with two of the premium products of the valley, olive oil and wine.
What you’ll need
Willow Creek Nuy Valley Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Willow Creek Garlic Infused Olive Oil
3 oxtails, about 750g each
2 large onions, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, finely sliced
4 carrots cut into wine cork size pieces
250ml red wine [I used Penhill wine]
500ml NOMU Beef Fond
1 400g tin of diced tomatoes [preferably Italian, they have more flavour]
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
What you’ll do
Season the oxtail with the sea salt and freshly milled black pepper. Flood thinly the base of a large oven proof casserole with the olive oil. Season with a splash of the Willow Creek Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Preset the oven on 180C.
Heat the casserole over medium heat and in it gently stir fry the onion until it is soft and transparent and just turning gold. Add the celery and stir fry for a while.
Add the oxtail and fry gently. I normally brown the oxtail bits ahead, but this time I added it to the onion and braised it. We had a cook in Tulbagh who used to do it this way. When the oxtail is lightly coloured, add the carrots and the red wine. Bring the wine to the boil and let it cook off the alcohol. Add the beef stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary and season well with sea salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn down the heat to 160C and cook for another two hours, stirring up after an hour. Bring down the heat to 140C and cook for a further hour. By this time, it should be tender and the sauce would have cooked away somewhat. If necessary, thicken the sauce with beurre manié [kneaded butter, equal quantities of soft butter and flour.] Taste and reseason if necessary.
Serve with creamy mash or rice and a green vegetable.
Read more about Willow Creek Olives and Olive Oils – CLICK HERE