Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

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(33 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 6

Slow-cooked oxtail is soft, melting meat and teamed with this rich red wine sauce it's perfect for parties

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
812
protein
53g
carbs
50g
fat
41g
saturates
17g
fibre
4g
sugar
8g
salt
2.08g

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 oxtail, jointed and cut into pieces
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • bay leaves and thyme sprigs, tied together
  • 1 bottle full-bodied red wine

For the dumplings

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • bunch basil leaves, removed
  • 75g butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • olive oil, for drizzling

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Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2008

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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teachuk1's picture
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Well what a lovely meal this was. I cooked it in my slow cooker overnight and then a little more and it was superb. The meat just fell off the bone and was delicious. The dumplings worked really well with the meat and were a success with all.
This was a really hearty, tasty dish full of deep flavours and an absolute winner with everyone.
I bought my oxtail from my butcher and found it was much better value than buying in the supermarket. A large oxtail from him cost me £7 and in the supermarket for £3.50 you only got 4 very small pieces.

teachuk1's picture
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My butcher is getting me some oxtails in on Wednesday so I am going to make this for the weekend. I am going to follow the ingredients but am going to cook it in my slow cooker as i think this will soften the meat better. Hopefully the results will be the same.

emmjay's picture
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Finally got around to making this and it received the thumbs up from all of us. After 3 hours cooking, the meat was still a little tough, so I left it in the oven for a little longer, and, to be honest, I actually forgot about it! So it ended up cooking for 4 1/2 hours, by which time the meat was so tender and the sauce was quite thick as it had reduced. I didn't make the dumplings as we're watching our carb intake, so served it with sweet potato and pumpkin mash (full of carbs, yes, but at least they're sort of "good" carbs!) I'll definitely make this again.

emmjay's picture
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NaomiA - Thanks for your reply and tips. Just last week, I came across this recipe in the Australian edition of BBC Good Food magazine, and the recipe does specify 750mls of wine. So looking forward to trying it. Thanks again.

naomia's picture
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Having never cooked oxtail before, I was delighted to find this recipe and can confirm it works a treat! Viking, yes, 750ml of good red wine. It is a lot, but over the three hours it turns into a gorgeous gloopy sauce.

Having made this a couple of times now, if you want to simplify the recipe I can confirm that it works just as beautifully without flouring the oxtail. I also added an extra can of tomatoes to the veggies, because I love that tomatoey flavour, and if you want a quick alternative to the basil dumplings, it goes really well with polenta.

Also, I've done it with just one oxtail - just leave all the other ingredients exactly the same, don't halve the wine or veggies and you'll be fine. And it does indeed reheat perfectly.

Mmmm... looking forward to making this again. A credit crunch treat.

emmjay's picture
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What size bottle of wine do you use? I'm in Australia and when a recipe calls for a "bottle of wine", we use a standard 750ml bottle. Is this the size to use? Hoping someone can answer my question, as I'd love to try this recipe, but 750ml of wine seems a bit too much.

mmm204's picture
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I cooked this for my family recently and they really enjoyed it. The recipe was very easy to follow and the sauce was completely unctuous and tasty. I will definitely cook with oxtail again and would cook this again too.

The only thing that I felt I wasn't as pleased with were the basil dumplings - although not obnoxious in any way, I have to admit that I much prefer dumplings made with suet. I also made the casserole with buttery mashed potato which went really well with the sauce.

mmm204's picture
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Am going to make this recipe next week. Looking forward to it.

schubun33's picture
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Very disappointed with this recipe, made this as the weekend for Sunday lunch we halved the recipe and after 3 hours cooking time all we were left with was a dry casserole dish with burnt vegetables on the bottom, I can only assume that the oven temp it too high to cook for 3 hours, or is there additional stock to go in as well as the 1/2 bottle of wine as it only said to crumble in a stock cube - very disappointed but the dumplings were lovely and very easy to make just a shame about the stew. So am still on the hunt for a good slow cooked Oxtail recipe.

michelebeevers's picture

I am 64 yrs old and have always assumed that dumplings were made using suet! I found this recipe and they were stunning. Light and fuffly and perfect with beef stew. I wi use this recipe from now on. Thank you.

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