Braised Oxtail with Cannellini Beans

This recipe for braised oxtail benefits from being cooked low and slow for optimum results. Oxtail may have been difficult to buy not so long ago but happily that's all changed, and most local butchers will stock a ready supply of this delicious cut, even if its not always on display. If you are buying from a butcher, save time in the kitchen by asking them to chop it up into manageable sized pieces.

4
  • 225g (8oz) dried cannellini beans
  • 50g (2oz) seasoned flour
  • 1.5-1.75kg (3-4lb) oxtail pieces
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300 ml (½ pint) red wine
  • 1 litre (1 ¾ pints) beef stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • sautéed Savoy cabbage, to serve
  • 225g (8oz) dried cannellini beans
  • 50g (2oz) seasoned flour
  • 1.5-1.75kg (3-4lb) oxtail pieces
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 300 ml (½ pint) red wine
  • 1 litre (1 ¾ pints) beef stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • sautéed Savoy cabbage, to serve

Step 1

First you’ll need to soak the cannellini beans. Either place them in a pan with 4 pints of cold water and bring them up to the boil for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to soak for 2 hours; or else soak them in cold water for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).

Step 2

Place the seasoned flour in a polythene bag and add the oxtail pieces. Shake until well coated, then remove, dusting off any excess. Heat the oil in a large casserole with a lid and gently brown the oxtail pieces in batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander and allow the excess oil to drain off.

Step 3

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and continue to cook for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with a little of the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any sediment, then pour in the remainder with the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste.

Step 4

Return the oxtails to the pan with the soaked beans. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 3 ½ hours until the meat is coming away from the bones and some of the fat from the oxtail has bubbled up to the top. Skim away the fat and season to taste. Scatter over the parsley and serve directly on the table with a separate dish of the sautéed cabbage.

Step 1

First you’ll need to soak the cannellini beans. Either place them in a pan with 4 pints of cold water and bring them up to the boil for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to soak for 2 hours; or else soak them in cold water for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).

Step 2

Place the seasoned flour in a polythene bag and add the oxtail pieces. Shake until well coated, then remove, dusting off any excess. Heat the oil in a large casserole with a lid and gently brown the oxtail pieces in batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander and allow the excess oil to drain off.

Step 3

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and continue to cook for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with a little of the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any sediment, then pour in the remainder with the stock, tomatoes, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Season to taste.

Step 4

Return the oxtails to the pan with the soaked beans. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 3 ½ hours until the meat is coming away from the bones and some of the fat from the oxtail has bubbled up to the top. Skim away the fat and season to taste. Scatter over the parsley and serve directly on the table with a separate dish of the sautéed cabbage.