Leg & Arse Ragout with Nut Spuds
Excuse this recipe’s cheeky title, but the fact is, these unglamorous cuts of meat create a rich and velvety dish.
50g butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 16 pieces oxtail and shin beef, bone in (about 2kg) About 1 cup plain flour 1 large onion, sliced 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced 3 medium carrots, cut into 2cm dice ¹⁄³ cup brandy (or whiskey or bourbon) 5 large sprigs flat-leaf parsley (including stems) 4 fresh bay leaves 1 sprig thyme 750ml full-bodied, good red wine 500ml beef stock 1 tablespoon golden syrup FOR THE POTATOES: 750g floury potatoes, eg Ilam Hardy or Agria 45g butter 4 tablespoons walnut oil or other nut oil ¼ cup chicken stock or bone broth, heated
Heat oven to 160°C. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy bottomed, ovenproof pan (one that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat. Dust the beef in wellseasoned flour, shake off excess and brown the pieces on each side in batches.
If needed, pour off excess fat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and sauté until slightly softened. Add the brandy and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan.
Return beef to pan and add the herbs, wine, stock and golden syrup. Stir to nestle everything in evenly and cover with a cartouche (piece of baking paper cut to sit snugly on top of the mixture) then cover with lid. Cook 3-3½ hours or until the meat is falling away from the bones and the sauce is rich and sticky. Skim off excess fat. Serve with hot mashed potato.
Potatoes: Peel potatoes and cut into even-sized chunks. Cook in salted water until tender. Drain and place back on gentle heat to remove any excess moisture then push through a sieve or potato ricer until the texture is very fine.
Using a large spoon, beat in butter and 3 tablespoons of the oil then the hot stock. Season to taste. Serve with remaining oil drizzled on top. Serves 6-8