Too many cooks won’t spoil this broth

Whether in a hearty broth or slowly braised with onions, ox­tail is an in­tensely savoury de­light, pro­claims Si­mon Hop­kin­son

Country Life Every Week - - Simon’s Kitchen - Si­mon Hop­kin­son

2 bay leaves 2tb­spn red-wine vine­gar 2tb­spn an­chovy essence 4tb­spn chopped pars­ley 8–10 pick­led wal­nuts


Pre-heat the oven to 140˚C/ 275˚F/gas mark 1. Sea­son the ox­tail and then dust with flour all over. Heat the oil and but­ter in a deep, cast-iron casse­role dish that also has a lid. Gen­tly fry the ox­tail on all sur­faces un­til crusted and golden. Re­move them to a plate, then tip off all but a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoons of the fat.

Turn the heat down to al­most noth­ing, lay half of the onions in the bot­tom of the pot, rein­tro­duce the ox­tail in one layer to­gether with the bay leaves and then cover with the rest of the onions.

Lay a but­tered sheet of grease­proof pa­per (but­ter side down) upon the sur­face and put on the lid. Leave on the low heat for a cou­ple of min­utes, then slide the pot into the oven and cook for 2–3 hours—or un­til very ten­der and the meat is clearly seen to be fall­ing away from the bone when nudged.

Re­move from the oven and care­fully lift out the pieces of ox­tail with a slot­ted spoon onto a plate. Place the pot back onto a mod­er­ate heat and stir to­gether the onions, which should now have col­lapsed to a golden goo. Stir in the an­chovy essence, vine­gar and pars­ley and re­turn the ox­tail, bury­ing it in the onions.

Set the pot (with­out lid) over a mod­er­ate flame and sim­mer for a fur­ther 15–20 min­utes, un­til the onions are sticky and unc­tu­ous. Serve di­rectly from the pot onto hot plates, while also hand­ing around the slices of pick­led wal­nuts at ta­ble.

Keep it sim­ple: the com­bi­na­tion of ox­tail and onions has more than enough flavour for this dish

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