How to cook Ox Tail
Season the flour with salt and pepper and use to coat the pieces. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the oxtail pieces, a few at a time. Remove from the casserole with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions to the casserole and fry over a medium heat for about 10mins or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in any remaining flour.
Stir in the stock, red wine and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then return the oxtail to the casserole and lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 2 hours.
Skim off the fat from the surface, then stir in the carrots and parsnips. Re-cover the casserole and simmer very gently for a further 2 hours or until the oxtail is very tender.
Skim off all the fat from the surface, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with chopped parsley.
A nice way to cook ox tail
2 tbsp plain flour
(about 3kg) oxtail, jointed and cut into pieces
4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, cut into small chunks
1 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
bay leaves and thyme sprigs, tied together
A bottle full-bodied red wine
1 beef stock cube
For the dumplings
300g self-raising flour
bunch basil leaves, removed
3 egg whites
olive oil, for drizzling
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then toss the oxtail in it until evenly coated. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Working in batches, brown the meat really well on all sides. Remove from the pan, then add the veg and garlic and fry for 3-4 mins until starting to colour. Stir in the tomato purée and herbs. Tip the meat back into the pan, pour over the wine, then crumble in the stock cube. Season, cover the pan and braise in the oven for 3 hrs until the meat is meltingly tender. Can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. If you make it ahead, chill in the fridge and lift any fat off the top before reheating.
To make the dumplings, tip the flour and basil (reserving a few leaves for a garnish) into a food processor with a generous pinch of salt, then blitz until the basil is finely chopped. Add the butter and blitz until it’s the texture of breadcrumbs, then gradually add the egg whites until everything comes together. On a floured surface, roll the dumplings into small, walnut-size balls, then cover with a tea towel until ready to cook.
To serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Simmer dumplings for 15 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon. While the dumplings are cooking, gently reheat the meat in the sauce. Serve a few chunks of meat in a soup bowl with a few dumplings, drizzled with olive oil and scattered with a few basil leaves.