Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have this hankering for a good South African Soul food and Oxtail is just the thing

Ideal winter comfort food, with a rich red wine gravy. To get the most out of this dish it should be cooked in a very slow oven for a least two hours, or alternatively cook in a pressure cooker for one hour – if cooking in a pressure cooker, do not add any additional water.


1kg (3 pieces per person) oxtail, jointed
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
Oil for frying
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
2 cups red wine
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin water
Salt and pepper
Sugar to taste

2 T white onion or mushroom soup powder
1/4 cup red wine

  • Preheat the oven 180° C.
  • Season the oxtail with salt and pepper and then dust with flour.
  • Heat a large casserole (or pressure cooker), that will later hold all the meat. Add the onions, carrots and celery, and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, so as not to burn.
  • Add the garlic and parsley and fry for a further 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Add a little more oil to the casserole, heat and fry the oxtail in batches until well browned.
  • Add the wine and deglaze the pot, return the vegetables, add the tomatoes and water (no water if using a pressure cooker, but rather add the soup powder mixed with the remaining wine), and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  • Bring to the boil, cover and place in the preheated oven. Turn the meat every 30 minutes, and top up with a little water if the dish seems to be drying out. Cook for 2 to 21/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender and starts to fall off the bone, (if using a pressure cooker, cook at high pressure for 1 hour). At this stage the dish can be allowed to cool and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To serve

  • Dissolve the soup powder in the red wine and stir into the cooking juices. Simmer until a thick gravy is reached. Serve with mashed potatoes
  • Don't forget a good bottle of red wine a Merlot or Cabernet is good