How I wish you could meet my Aunt Jenni. She’s my sister’s mother-in-law and twice a year we head over to Canberra for the long weekend where she generously welcomes our whole family for Christmas and Easter lunch. She cooks for over 20 or so people and I’ve never once seen her stress about it. She’s all about simple, delicious and as much as possible, “make ahead” recipes.
Jenni came to Sydney this weekend to celebrate her son’s birthday. “Jenni, you MUST MUST give me some recipes to blog about!” I told her. She did better than that – she gave me two of her well-used recipe journals that contain her tried and tested recipes!
Here’s one of Jenni’s recipes I had over the weekend (Yes! She cooks even while she is in Sydney). The recipe of Braised Oxtail with Asian Flavours is from New Zealand food celebrity and cookbook author Annabel Langbein.
I absolutely love this recipe because of how amazingly easy it is to prepare:
- There’s no need to sear the meat (which I find very messy) to get it to that nice brown colour – this is all done in the oven (why didn’t I think of that before?!). To brown the meat, the recipe calls for you to bake the oxtail pieces in an oven for 30 minutes at 220c. Less frying to me means less mess!
- This recipe uses tomato juice and water as the braising liquid – there’s no need for beef stock nor red wine as with most braised recipes.
- There’s no chopping of aromatic vegetables (eg carrots, onions, celery etc.) The whole dish took me 10 minutes to prepare. The rest of the time the meat is either browning or braising in the oven.
And of course, there’s nothing like a meltingly tender, falling off the
bone tail, unctuously rich piece of perfectly braised oxtail.
Braised Oxtail With Asian Flavours
Recipe from Annabel Lanbein
This recipe is great served with some parnsip and carrot mash or a bowl of steaming white rice. If you prefer, you could also use another cut of braising meat for this, like veal shanks
- 2.5 kilos oxtail
- 500 ml tomato juice (canned variety)
- 500 ml water
- 4 star anise
- 3 dried chilies (I used 2 dried and 1 fresh)
- 1/2 fresh orange peel (removed with a vegetable peeler so there is no pith)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 85 ml soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and halved
- 2 thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger, thinly sliced (18 slices)
- Line a large baking dish with baking paper and arrange the oxtail in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 220c (conventional oven so if you are using fan forced, adjust the time) for 30 minutes until nicely browned.
- Remove the oxtail and place the pieces in a casserole dish. Bring down the oven temperature to 180c.
- Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and pour it on the oxtail, making sure to scatter around the ginger, garlic, star anise etc. Cover with baking paper (to stop any exposed meat from drying out) and a tight fitting lid and bake at 180c for 2.5 hours. This dish can also be cooked a day or two ahead, in which case, bake for 2 hours and then reheat for 40 minutes at 180c.