Allyson Gofton - Trendy Traditionals

Publish Date
Friday, 8 May 2015, 12:41PM
By Allyson Gofton

Oxtail is high in fat but cooked slowly the meat falls from the bone with immense flavour. Best cooked the day before to allow the excess fat to rise to the top of the dish, which can be lifted off when cold and before re-heating to serve. Brown oxtail first, to add rich caramel flavours to your casserole or dish.

Beef Cheek has recently been made popular recently due to its profile on television programmes. For best results, soak beef cheek in cold water, to which a good squeeze of lemon juice has been added, for 1-2 hours. Remove any sinews, dice if wished and braise slowly in a flavoursome stock or sauce for 2-3 hours art a very low temperature – around 130 degrees Celsius.

Oxtail Pot With Gnocchi
Back in fashion after some decades in the culinary wilderness, oxtail, with its gutsy beef flavour and gelatinous texture, makes a great cheap stew. I love this kind of food in winter - a bowl of steaming-hot goodness.

Preparation Time:
15 minutes
Cooking Time: 
1¾ hours
Serves: 4

750-850 grams oxtail
1 onions, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 x 45 gram packet rich tomato soup mix
5 cups light beef stock
1 x 500 gram bag frozen broad beans
1 x 400 gram packet plain potato gnocchi, chilled
1 cup finely chopped celery leaves and/or stalks
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  1. Brown the oxtail in a dash of oil in a lidded flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion and garlic and toss together in the hot dish.

  2. Add the tomato soup mix and half the stock to the dish and cover. Simmer on top of the stove or cook in a 140ºC oven for 1½-2 hours or until the meat falls from the bones.

  3. Lift the meat from the sauce and, when cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones, discarding excess fat. Allow the sauce to sit (this will allow the fat to rise to the top, so it can then be skimmed off) while preparing the beans and gnocchi.

  4. Blanch the broad beans for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Refresh under cold water and peel. Cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water (the time will depend on variety and style, but usually about 3-5 minutes is enough). Drain well.

  5. Return the meat to the casserole dish along with the beans, gnocchi, remaining stock, celery and mint. Warm through and serve in deep bowls accompanied with mashed swedes or pumpkin if wished.

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