Insanely good oxtail stew

Serves 8-10

  • 2.5 kg oxtail, chopped into 4cm chunks (ask your butcher to do this)

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 2 medium leeks

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • 4 medium carrots

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 4 fresh bay leaves

  • 4 cloves

  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour

  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

  • 275 ml porter or red wine

  • Optional:

  • 1 litre organic beef stock

  • Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Place a large roasting tray in the oven to preheat.



Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven, then add the oxtail. Season and drizzle over a lug of olive oil, then toss to coat and place in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.



Meanwhile, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways, then chop into rough 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the carrots into 2cm pieces, then place into a large ovenproof casserole pan over a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves, then add the bay and cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.



Meanwhile, remove the oxtail from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3.



Add the cloves and flour to the veg, stirring well to combine, then pour in the tomatoes and porter (or wine, if using). Add the oxtail and any roasting juices, cover with the beef stock or 1 litre of cold water and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and place in the hot oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone, stirring every hour or so and adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.



Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Using rubber gloves, strip the meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones. Add a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, season to taste and enjoy with creamy mash and seasonal steamed greens.



Tip: Turn this stew into soup by adding a good splash of boiling water and simmering to your desired consistency. I also love this stirred through pappardelle and served with a grating of Parmesan on top – incredible!



Nutritional Information

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Method

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Place a large roasting tray in the oven to preheat.

Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven, then add the oxtail. Season and drizzle over a lug of olive oil, then toss to coat and place in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.

Meanwhile, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways, then chop into rough 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the carrots into 2cm pieces, then place into a large ovenproof casserole pan over a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves, then add the bay and cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, remove the oxtail from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3.

Add the cloves and flour to the veg, stirring well to combine, then pour in the tomatoes and porter (or wine, if using). Add the oxtail and any roasting juices, cover with the beef stock or 1 litre of cold water and stir well. Turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil, then pop the lid on and place in the hot oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone, stirring every hour or so and adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed.

Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Using rubber gloves, strip the meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones. Add a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, season to taste and enjoy with creamy mash and seasonal steamed greens.

Tip: Turn this stew into soup by adding a good splash of boiling water and simmering to your desired consistency. I also love this stirred through pappardelle and served with a grating of Parmesan on top – incredible!

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 523
    26%
  • Carbs 12g
    5%
  • Sugar 6.4g 7%
  • Fat 38g 54%
  • Saturates 14.2g 71%
  • Protein 28.4g 63%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 2.5 kg oxtail, chopped into 4cm chunks (ask your butcher to do this)

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 2 medium leeks

  • 2 stalks of celery

  • 4 medium carrots

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 4 fresh bay leaves

  • 4 cloves

  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour

  • 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

  • 275 ml porter or red wine

  • Optional:

  • 1 litre organic beef stock

  • Worcestershire sauce