The time for comfort food in the Karoo winter has finally arrived! And the first thing that comes to mind is a hearty, rich casserole, or potjie made with vegetables found in your garden, fresh herbs, a good bottle of local red wine and of course, a good stewing meat like oxtail. Oxtail is a bony, gelatinous rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. You can find oxtail pretty much anywhere, just ask your butcher to cut it up into pieces for you.
INGREDIENTS : (Serves 4)
1.5 kg Oxtail
1 bunch of Celery
Green beans (optional)
4 Bay leaves
1 can of Tomatoes
1 Bottle of Red wine
100 ml of Worcester sauce
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper and coriander
250 ml of water or stock
METHOD: First off, heat up your oven to 220 degrees Celsius, at the same time place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up.
Season the oxtail pieces well with sea salt, black pepper and coriander.
While waiting for the oven to heat up, gather your vegetables and rinse. Peel and chop them up into good chunky bites.
When the oven is really hot, remove roasting tray, drizzle with oil and place the seasoned oxtail pieces on the tray. You want to hear a healthy sizzling sound when the meat hits the tray. Shake the tray making sure all the meat is covered with oil and put the tray back in the oven. Roast the meat for about ten minutes until well seared and caramelised.
Take your best cast iron casserole pot and heat it up on the stove over medium heat and put a tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom. Place all chopped up veggies in alongside the fresh herbs and garlic. Fry for about 15 minutes and add the flour.
Add the tomatoes, the whole bottle of red wine, the Worcester sauce and stir well. Add the seared off oxtail pieces to the pot and cover with the lid. Reduce the heat of your oven down to 160 degrees Celsius and place pot in the oven for 5 hours. Enjoy with rice or mashed potatoes and a good bottle of wine!