This robust full-bodied dish was the signature dish at Salon Blanc, one of Sydney’s stylish restaurants on the Finger Wharf at Woolloomooloo. It's the perfect dish for a cold winter's night. Great served with pappardelle; also good with mashed potato and/or mashed celeriac.
For extra depth of flavour, marinate the oxtails in red wine, tomatoes, mirepoix of vegetables, thyme and bayleaf for 24 hours, braise in a very slow oven for 12 hours then very carefully remove the meat.
- Yield : 6
- dry red wine - 2 bottles
- large oxtail pieces - 12
- unsalted butter - 60g
- eschalots - 6, peeled
- garlic cloves - 6, peeled
- medium carrots - 2, peeled
- medium leeks - 2, white part only
- onion - 1 medium, peeled
- celery sticks - 2
- fresh thyme sprigs - 6
- bay leaves - 2
- flat leaf parsley - 1/2 bunch, tied together with string
- beef stock - approx 1 Litre
- flat leaf parsley - 1/2 bunch, leaves only
- lemon - 1, zest only
- garlic - 2 cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180degC,
Boil wine in a large heavy saucepan until reduced by about half (about 800ml). Trim oxtails and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. In a deep heavy ovenproof casserole just large enough to hold oxtails in one layer heat a knob of butter (approx 15g) over moderately high heat until foam subsides and brown half the oxtails on all sides, transferring to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels.
Brown remaining oxtails in a knob of butter (15g) in same manner and transfer to paper-lined plate.
Coarsely chop shallots, garlic, carrots, leeks, onion, and celery. Add vegetables to casserole and cook in a knob of butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened.
Arrange oxtails over vegetables and add reduced wine, herbs, and enough stock to just cover oxtails. Bring liquid to a boil and braise oxtails, covered, in middle of oven for 3 - 3 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender but not falling off the bone.
At this stage I recommend you transfer the oxtails with their liquid to the fridge, cover with plastic wrap, and leave overnight so that next day you can scrape off the fat.
Next day, bring back to boiling point and remove oxtails to a bowl or serving platter. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a large saucepan, discarding solids. Boil liquid until thick and reduced to about 440ml. Whisk in remaining butter for a shiny sauce.
Serve oxtails and sauce with pappardelle, the wide Italian pasta, which has been cooked in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water.
Garnish with gremolata.
For the Gremolata: chop the parsley leaves together with the lemon zest and garlic until fairly fine.