Food 2011 – Recipes (Oxtail with Rioja and Chorizo)

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Saturday, 8th October 2011 – Recipes (Oxtail with Rioja and Chorizo)

Sometimes you have to dig into your cookery books, especially when you have as many as I do…

I cooked this for one of our weekend meals. It was amazingly tasty…

Oxtail with Rioja and Chorizo


For the initial cooking
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5kg/3lb 5oz oxtail, sliced into 5cm/2in
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stick, cut into chunks
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bottle red Rioja
  • 10 parsley stalks
For the second cooking
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 120g/4½oz chorizo, cut into 1cm/½in rounds
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp hot paprika or dried red chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 1-2 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt
  • Mashed or fried potatoes, to serve

Preparation method:

  1. The day before serving, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. Season the oxtail pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and brown well on all sides – you will probably need to do this in two batches.
  2. Remove the oxtail from the pan and pour off the excess fat before adding the carrot, onion and celery. Fry for five minutes until starting to colour, then add the peppercorns, bay, thyme, cloves and garlic and fry for two minutes more.
  3. Return the oxtail to the pan, add the Rioja and parsley stalks, and cover with water. Bring to a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook until tender – about two hours, or longer if necessary, adding water if the liquid boils down below the top of the meat. Season. The meat is ready when it can be easily pulled from the bone, but not so soft as to fall off of its own accord.
  4. Transfer the oxtail to a bowl or suitable container and strain the juices through a sieve over the meat. Cool and put in the fridge overnight.
  5. On the day of eating, remove as much fat as possible from the chilled oxtail. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat. When hot, add the onion and carrot, and cook for about 10 minutes until they begin to caramelise, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the chorizo and fry for five more minutes. Now stir in the flour, fry for a couple more minutes and add the paprika, fennel seeds and tomato purée.
  7. Add the oxtail with its stock to the pan and season with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with mashed potato or, as is usual in Spain, with fried potatoes.

Like many stews, this should be cooked the day before, if possible, as the flavours definitely improve with age.


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