Instant winter warming deliciousness: Braised Oxtail with Mash
Waking up to 14 degrees celcius today, there’s no doubt winter has arrived.
Not the biggest fan of this season, but unless I can move overseas in our winter and come back for our summer, I’m stuck with this gloomy, cold, windy, rainy season that’s winter in Cape Town.
The only comfort is the delicious warm foods you get to enjoy in winter. That’d be too heavy and warm for winter. I’m talking about warm foods such as stews, curries, roasts, to winter-conducive cooking methods such as oven cooked/baked, slow cooked, braised; lots of foods.
Tonight I’m inspired by a special in the meat market of my local supermarket: Oxtail.
This used to be my winter treat at one of the steak houses in Cape Town every winter, and they did it do well.
So my mission tonight is to try replicate my winter favourite, that I’ve never made before, but enjoyed countless times. Replicate based on taste, smell and sight. I have no idea what they put into their oxtail other than oxtail.
Ok, here we go!
What do you need? Serves 4
1.2 kg of oxtail
3 medium sized carrots
2 tbs crushed garlic/ finely chopped
Corn flour for discretionary thickening
Salt & pepper
4 Stock cubes
2 tbs paprika
2 tbs masala
5 bay leaves
300 ml red wine
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs thyme( fresh or dried)
Now let’s begin. Wish me luck…
I start with seasoning the oxtail with salt & pepper, then dusting with flour. While doing this, place a big pot with butter on the stove. You could use a pressure cooker for this, if you have one, it reduces the cooking time by almost half!
When the butter is hot, brown the oxtail in the butter on all sides.
When browned, add all your chopped veg( onion, carrot, garlic, tomatoes), the seasoning( stock cubes, paprika, masala), tomato paste. Let this cook for about 5 minutes until you add the liquids: chopped tomatoes with their juices, red wine and cold water.
When this has come to a boil, lower the heat to medium heat( level 3 on a standard electric stove) of low heat if you have more cooking time. Between coming home from work way after 17h00 and needing to serve dinner before 19h00; time is very precious( excuse the pun 😜).
At medium heat, I let it braise for 2 hours
At an hour in, start with you mashed potatoes. Peel and cube the potatoes into little cubes and cook in salted water.
When soft, drain the water. Into a bowl, add 1 tbs of cream cheese and mash until almost smooth. I’m not doing it all the way because I like the surprise change in texture when I eat my mash. Gives it some character. 😋
After 2 hours, thicken the liquid with 2 tbs of corn flour. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
And we are done!
Dish up, sprinkle with parsley or thyme, serve and Enjoy!