Braised Ox Tail & Soft Polenta

Serves 4


You will need a large, deep casserole dish.

2 kgs of oxtail

Salt + fresh ground black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

1 cup each of diced onion, carrot + celery

1 head of garlic, split in half

3 tbsp tomato paste

6 sprigs thyme

2 cups red wine

1 litre of beef stock

500ml milk

500ml water

1 cup dried polenta

3 tbsp unsalted butter

½ cup parmesan grated


For the Oxtail –

Preheat an oven to 170C. On the stove, heat a large deep casserole pot over a high heat. Season the oxtail with salt and pepper.

Heat half the oil in the pan and then brown off the oxtail in batches. Once the meat has been browned all over, remove to a plate.

Then add the remaining oil, veggies and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 10 minutes. 

Add the tomato paste and thyme to the pan, cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine to the pan and cook out for 2 minutes. Return the oxtail to the pan and turn it over in the wine before adding the stock to cover. (You may need a little water to ensure entire coverage)’ Adjust the seasoning lightly and bring to the boil.

Once boiling, take off the heat, cover with baking paper and a lid (if you have no lid, you can double foil it) and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the lid and turn the oxtail over and return to the oven for 30-45 minutes, without its lid or baking paper. When finished cooking, allow the oxtail to rest for at least 15-30 minutes, adjust the sauce and skim some fat if needed before serving.

For the polenta –

Heat the milk and water in a pot until scolding.  Slowly add the polenta while whisking. Turn the heat down and cook for 15 -20 minutes, whisking often until creamy.

You may need to top up with a little more liquid. Add the butter and parmesan, adjust the seasoning and serve under scoops of the oxtail. Hmmm, so good.

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