Wednesday, 29 June 2011

246: Mediteranean Oxtail - look at what you could have won

Firstly apologies for the lack of comment replies - blogger is now not letting me even comment anonymously on my own blog. But I can still add new posts. Very strange.

As I regularly do, I was watching Come Dine With Me. I think it was an old one; a lady cooked some Oxtail. The muse was upon me; I was a man determined to eat the wiggly bit at the end of the cow. This though, is a story of - as the great Jim Bowen would say "look at what you could've won" (does anyone else remember the games show with Mike Smith and Julian Clary? - I remember Julian being particularly harsh when people lost and this was even better than a bit of Bully).

Sadly I was busy on the Saturday and missed my normal trip to the butchers. I was still determined to press ahead with my oxtail dreams and I duly found a packet of of Oxtail in Tesco. Mistake no:1 - not because I'm being snobbish about Tesco or because meat from a proper butcher's is generally better - the packet came with one big bit and some smaller bits. These smaller bits were possibly useful for flavour; but there was very little meat to be had. And what there was, was very difficult to get hold of.

After the Tesco trip (aka worst hour of the week), there were more things to be done. These seemed important at the time; but I'm buggered if I can remember what they were. However, this resulted in what seemed like a brain wave - I'd cook the oxtail super-long and super-slow (and also super-simple).

- 1 oxtail
- 1 onion
- 2 tins tomatoes
- most of a bottle of decent red (mistake 3: bit of a waste this)
- garlic
- herbs rosemary, sage & lemon thyme (all from the garden) & a cuople of bay leaves

- cook onion & garlic
- brown edges of the oxtail
- add tomatoes, wine and herbs
- into oven 120c for 6 hours

So, what I discovered here seems to be that:
- use less rosemary (I'd used most of this; because this plant is doing best) it overpowered the others
- use less wine; even after 6 hours, it still tasted mostly of hot wine: instead of sauceness
- use bigger lumps of oxtail
- cook hotter (neither the wine had cooked off properly, nor was the oxtail as soft as hoped)

Here it is - served with roasted new potatoes and green beans. Oftentimes in this blog, I claim deliciousness from my food but bemoan my poor photography making it look a bit cack. This time; it looks exactly as I'd wanted it to - it just didn't taste all that good.

So there we go - look at what I could have won.

One to be tried again.


  1. Oh no - what a sorry tale of woe. I made oxtail stew for the first time this winter, enjoyed it but it was a bit of a faff with all those bones and shin is just as tasty. Oxtail is also surprisingly expensive - as my butcher said a cow only has one tail - surely they can genetically modify them to grow four these days can't they?
    Anyhow, get yourself online to do that weekly shop - sooo much more pleasant and easier.

  2. "I was a man determined to eat the wiggly bit at the end of the cow"

    That sentence made me feel a tad queasy! Shame it wasn't as nice as you'd anticipated :( those totties look tasty though!

  3. Apologies Catherine, didn't mean to make you queasy.

    Oooh Kath: I didn't have you down for an online shopper, what with all the good stuff you grow nad cook. I think I'd end up with exactly the same food every week if I ordered online.

  4. I order online, generally - just can't justify dragging Little G round the shops when there are people who can shop for me. It does make me consciously plan a week of meals first, so I don't fall into the trap of getting the same thing too often.


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