Introduction: Braised Oxtail in Valpolicella (served With Potato Gnocci)
This is a recipe that was inspired by a shin of beef recipe I saw on an episode of Jamie's Chef. After a conversation with my grandmother about chin of beef, she also instilled me with the idea of trying braised oxtail.
I put both together and this is the result!
Now I realise I should have spent more time on the presentation of the finished product, but I was too busy thinking about eating it!!
3 decent sized sections of oxtail (about an inch thick).
1/2 bottle of hearty red wine (The other half is chef's perk).
1 large carrot, roughly chopped.
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped.
1 large leek or onion, roughly chopped.
2-3 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (again!).
1 bulb of garlic
Step 1: Preparing the Oxtail
First you soak the oxtail in salted water for an hour or two, then discard the water and replace it with a hearty red wine. I used Vapollicella. And leave to marinade, for a few hours, or even better overnight.
Step 2: Veg Prep! Getting the Flavours Right From the Holy Trinity.
This is where you chop your veg, and start to get some flavour going!
Once it's softened slightly, remove it from the pan and put it in an oven proof dish with a lid.
Step 3: Brown Off the Oxtails.
Now you brown off the oxtails, in the same pan as the veg. You just want to seal off the edges best you can and get some more of the lovely flavours onto the bottom of the pan. It's important to watch the temperature of the pan here, brown is good, black is bad!!
There's an old chef's saying
"if it's brown it's cooked, if it's black it's f*****"
Once browned, pop them on top of your softened veg.
Step 4: Deglaze the Pan and Start the Braising!
This bit gets you loads of flavour and sets up the whole dish, once done you're on the home straight!
Step 5: Three Hours Later!!
After 3 hours in the oven, it should all look like this!
Step 6: Bringing It All Together!
Now we're on the home stretch!
We need to pic off all the meat from the oxtail, put it in with the cooking liquor and reduce it down. It will make a lovely thick tasty sauce from all the gelatin from the oxtail.
This is where you put your gnocci on too, if you've made fresh, they take second to cook.
Step 7: The Aftermath
Here I recommend feeding an impoverished and rather talented artist ( Greg Kapka) and he'll do the washing up for you!!
Since this instructable was published in maybe 2007(?) Greg has gone onto far greater things - than doing my washing up. This painting by Greg has been nominated for the national portrait contest http://portfolio.kapka.co.uk/images/misc/ebminframe.jpg