January 19th, 2009


Oxtail and Roasted Onion Broth

Oxtail is a classic old British favourite and I found a recipe from 1922 in Mrs Beeton’s  New Edition cookery book. It is one of the forgotten cuts that should  be rediscovered as it is packed full of flavour.

My cooking methods are definitely not old fashioned and are a bit time consuming but the flavour certainly delivers and makes every minute spent worthwhile. Roasting the onions and garlic in the oven gives the dish a full rounded flavour packed with natural sweetness. Cooking the oxtail in the water bath bath for 14 hours might make your eyes water but remember it does not require your attention  whilst cooking. It’s a delicious dish and worth every minute.

Sous-vide oxtail
  • onions3750g oxtail, cut in pieces
  • 300g  whole onions
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 50g Demerara Sugar
  • 200ml white whine
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C and preheat the water bath to 82°C.

Wash the whole onions and garlic; do not peel. Place them on a lined baking tray in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove the garlic and return the onions for a further 35 minutes.

Let the onions cool for 15 minutes before squeezing the roasted garlic pulp and onion pulp from the skins in to a small saucepan.

Add the sugar, wine and seasoning to the roasted onion and garlic pulp.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, puree the onions until smooth. Let the onion puree cool.

Place the oxtail and the cold onion puree in a vacuum bag, seal on full vacuum.

Place the bag in the preheated water bath and cook for 14hours.

Once the oxtail is cooked remove the oxtail from the vacuum pouch, pass the liquid through a sieve and set aside, once it cooled it will set in to a jelly.

Flake the meat from the bones while still warm, remove as much of the fat as possible, and set aside.

  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 100g sliced onions
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150g Maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut in 2cm dice
  • 450g cooking liquid from the oxtail
  • Cooled flaked oxtail meat

In a large saucepan melt the butter and sauté the onions with seasoning, cloves and the bay leaf until golden.

Add the diced potato and sauté for a further two minutes until the potato starts to brown.

Add the flaked oxtail and the cooking jelly.

Turn to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

I like to serve this soup with freshly chopped rosemary from the garden and slices of bread fried crisp in butter and a generous helping of a good quality grated English Cheddar.

Serves 4

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