Beef, Starters

Slow Cooked Oxtail Croquettes served on a bed of Shallot Marmalade with Oxtail Cooking Sauce and Tarragon

My latest starter recipe invention and quite possibly my favourite to date! One you can prepare the day before too, so great for a dinner party!

Oxtail is an underused yet highly flavoursome cut of beef – I’ve slow cooked it and served in croquette form on top of a shallot marmalade and finished in it’s own cooking sauce.

It makes for a wonderful marriage of contrasting tastes and textures and I’ve finished off with the sweet anise flavour of tarragon (I can’t recommend the addition of the tarragon enough – it balances the dish perfectly).

Makes 3-4 Croquettes 

Ingredients:

450G oxtail cut into large pieces
500ml red wine
750ml beef stock
250ml port
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
4 sprigs thyme
2-3 garlic cloves finely sliced
1 egg yolk beaten for coating
Flower for coating
Breadcrumbs for coating
Snip of tarragon

(For the shallot marmalade follow my recipe here)

Method:

  • Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan over a high heat and brown the chunks of oxtail all over.  Set aside.

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  • In the same pan lower the heat slightly and add the onion and brown slightly.  Add the carrot and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree and stir through.  Now add the bay leaf and thyme and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

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  • Now add the wine, stock and port and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the browned oxtail to the pan, bring to the boil then reduce to a low heat. 450g of oxtail should take around 3 ½ hours to cook, but it’s worth checking regularly after 3 hours to ensure the meat doesn’t overcook.  The meat should be ready when it’s almost falling away from the bone (it should come away easily with a spoon).  The cooking sauce should be reduced by around half and should have thickened ever so slightly.  Remove from the heat.

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  • Remove the meat from the pan and allow to cool slightly.  Now separate the meat from the bone, discarding any fatty bits.

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  • Combine the meat into a sausage shape around 3cm thick and spoon some of the liquid from the cooking sauce over it (this will allow the meat to retain moisture and will keep it packed full of flavor).  Wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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  • Keep the rest of the excess cooking sauce to serve with croquettes later (there will be enough left over to use at a later date – it can be frozen and makes for an absolutely amazing gravy).

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  • Remove the oxtail sausage from the fridge and cut into barrel shapes.  Remove the cling film ready to coat.

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  • Season some flower and roll the croquettes in it, then cover in the beaten egg.  Roll in breadcrumbs until completely coated. Pre-heat the oven to 160c/gas mark 3.

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  • Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the croquettes until golden brown all over.  Now transfer to the pre-heated oven and cook for 4/5 minutes.

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  • While the croquettes are cooking, pass some of the oxtail cooking juices through a fine sieve into a saucepan and re-heat for serving over the croquettes.
  • With a cooks ring, place some shallot marmalade on a serving plate.  Place one cooked croquette on top and another to the side and finish with the heated cooking sauce.  Add a snip of tarragon to compliment the rich, hearty flavour of the meat.
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