Dianne says: “As anyone who’s made oxtail knows, it’s hardly challenging, needing only a few ingredients but heaps of patience. Oxtail is a waiting game. The oven does all the work, slowly eliciting mouthwatering gelatinous flavours. If you’re ravenously hungry, as a winter belly tends to be, the aroma from the oven can drive you to distraction. It’s best to leave the room, grab the The Sunday Times and wade through the week that was. Alternately, turn to the leisure section and imagine yourself in some place warm on a luxury cruise, island hopping and eating your way through the Mediterranean. Yes, that sounds perfect! See, 4 hours later and here we are. Sticky red wine sauce and spoon tender oxtail, ready for the weekend table.”
Slow Braised Red Wine Oxtail
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 4 hours
Total time 4 hours 15 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.8kg oxtail, trimmed of excess fat
1 large red onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 long celery sticks, diced
3 carrots peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
several stems of fresh thyme and oregano, de-stalked
4 bay leaves
zest of half lemon
2 teaspoons brown sugar or xylitol
1 cup red wine
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
½ cup water
bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons Morgenster lemon enhanced olive oil
zest and juice of half a lemon
pinch of Kalahari desert salt
Preheat the oven to 180º C. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep cast iron pot or oven-proof saucepan. Season the oxtail generously on both sides with salt and black pepper. Brown the meat in batches on both sides and then set aside.
Add a little more oil to pot and sauté the onions until softened. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, herbs, lemon zest, sugar and tomatoes. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble up to lift all the meaty flavour at the bottom.
Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and water. Place the oxtail pieces back into the pot along with all the resting juices. Season lightly with salt. Cover with the lid and cook in the oven for 3½ to 4 hours. Check the meat after 2 hours and add a little more water if necessary.
Once the sauce is reduced and thickened, check the seasoning.
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, olive oil, lemon zest and salt flakes. Serve the oxtail with the herb oil, mashed potatoes or polenta and steamed green beans.
Michael’s wine recommendations, 3 sublime Boschendal Reds – CLICK HERE
Dianne Bibby is a former fashion designer, turned food enthusiast and avid cook. At 36 she hung up her fashionable hat, tied on her kitchen apron and started on a new culinary journey.
Her kitchen is a creative gathering place where meals are shared with family and friends, celebrating life and nurturing our connectivity. For Dianne food is relational and pivotal to the way in which she expresses love, care and hospitality. Currently she spends most of her time developing recipes and teaching group cooking classes.
Says Dianne, “My food philosophy is relatively uncomplicated with inspiration being drawn from diverse global food trends and seasonal produce. My recipes are not exclusively tied to any particular food preference but rather an exploration of all foods that are vibrant and fresh.”
Dianne hopes that you will be motivated and inspired to try something new, making the time you spend in the kitchen deeply satisfying and rewarding.
She’d love to hear from you – CLICK HERE