I recently cooked some oxtail after years of not eating any. I think the last time I can remember eating it was more than 25 years ago when I lived with my parents. My dad would cook it quite frequently, making a simple stew or soup and was literally a great advocate of nose to tail eating. We had an old secondhand aga that he bought from a small private school that was closing down and I think they practically gave it away. It was coal fired and only used in the winter but warmed the whole of the bottom floor of our house. My dad would chuck the oxtail, lots of onions, lots of garlic, rosemary, mustard, a whole host of winter veg (potatoes, carrots, squash, etc.), fry off a bit then add some water/red wine and put into a glazed earthenware, covered pot and stick in one of the slower ovens and leave to gently simmer away for sometimes 12 hours. It was such a warming treat on a cold day after walking the 3 miles back from school.
This is my version which is basically the same as my dad’s but without the rosemary – I couldn’t be bothered to go out into the garden and get some….it was too cold. (Matthew)