A Hearty South African Recipe – Oxtail and Red Wine Potjie

500g fresh oxtails (get your butcher to slice them into pieces in between the bones)
10 slices of bacon cut into 2.5cm pieces
½ cup flour, seasoned liberally with salt and pepper
1 litre beef stock
115g tomato paste
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
4 large leeks, chopped coarsely
2 large onions, chopped coarsely
6 large carrots, 2chopped coarsely and 4 diced finely
20 button mushrooms, quartered
250ml red wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons crushed garlic

How to
Wipe the oxtails dry with a paper towel.

Put seasoned flour in a resealable plastic bag, then add the Oxtail and shake to coat with flour.

Heat the butter and olive oil in the potjie (either over coals or gas) and sauté bacon pieces.

Remove bacon, add the oxtail to the pot and brown in the bacon fat. When each piece is browned all over, remove and drain on paper towels while keeping warm.

Add the 4 finely diced carrots to the pot together with the chopped onions and the leeks, and sautée until softened.

Return the oxtail and bacon to the pot and add the bouquet garni, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, tomato sauce, beef stock and red wine.

Bring slowly to the boil (if you got this far on gas, now is the time to transfer it to the coals). Cover tightly with a lid and allow to cook undisturbed for 4 hours.

One hour before serving, add the remaining carrots and mushrooms and continue cooking slowly, without stirring.

If you want a thicker sauce, stir in some cornstarch mixed with cold water just before serving over rice or polenta(or mieliepap!)

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