By Angelika Hanna
This recipe is inspired by native South African foodblogger, recipe developer, and freelance writer Jeanne Horak’s potje. Potje is the South African word for a stew that is slowly cooked in a cast iron pot or Dutch oven. I wanted my dish a bit lighter, less thick and rich; therefore, I did not use any flour or thickener – just a bit of flour for frying my oxtails. My juice is rather liquid than creamy which I prefer. Who needs a heavy gravy, when the red wine and beef broth mixture is so deliciously. I have made several oxtail dishes over the past few years, and this one is by far the best. The ratio of the wine and the beef broth turned out so well, and the vegetable-herb combination was the right choice. The cooking length was just perfect: My oxtails were cooked so tender, that the meat literally fell off the bone. I did not need any knife to cut the meat. The idea to use dried and fresh mushrooms is a great one, as you get different textures, and the strong, earthy flavor of the dried as well as the milder flavor of the fresh mushrooms.
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 4 h
Total Time: 4 h 30 min
Cuisine: South African inspired
Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food
- 4 large oxtails
- Extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
- Flour to coat the oxtails
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 bay leaf
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 fresh rosemary spring
- 1 large leeks, coarsely chopped (greens included)
- 2 cooking onions, coarsely chopped
- 2 Nantes carrots, sliced
- 1 parsnip
- 20 button mushrooms (10 dried, 10 fresh)
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons crushed garlic (optional)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Wipe the oxtails dry with a paper towel.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Coat with flour, shake any extra flour off.
- Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat in the Dutch Oven.
- Add the oxtail to the pot and brown.
- In the meantime, boil some water in a small pot. Once boiling, add the dried mushrooms to clean them. Let them boil for 3 min, then, drain them through a sieve. Set aside.
- When each piece of your oxtail is browned all over, remove and drain on paper towels.
- Add the onions, leeks, parsnip, celery, carrots and the dried mushrooms to the pot.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary spring, and peppercorns and sautée until they begin to soften for about 5-8 min over medium-high heat. Add the garlic last and cook for 1 more min.
- Return the oxtail, tomato paste, beef stock and red wine.
- Bring to boil, then reduce the heat so low and cook with the lid on undisturbed for 4 hours.
- During the last cooking hour, add the fresh mushrooms and continue cooking slowly, without stirring.
Serve with rice. (I used a mixture of wild and Basmati rice.)