5 Hour Oxtail Casserole with Polenta & Cavolo Nero



For the Oxtail

  • 800g organic oxtail, bone in
  • generous pinch of salt
  • generous twist of black pepper
  • 1 litre organic beef bone broth
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 star anise

For the Polenta

  • 85g coarse polenta
  • 225 ml organic whole milk
  • Generous handful of Parmesan

For the Cavolo Nero

  • bunch of organic cavolo nero, thinly sliced
  • 30g butter, melted
  • Generous twist of salt and black pepper

Rich with gut-boosting collagen, this slow-cooked oxtail casserole is brought to you by James Hearfield, Head Tutor here at the Daylesford Cookery School. Slowly cooked for 5 hours with fresh thyme and homemade bone broth, James likes to serve it with well-seasoned buttered greens and a delicious Parmesan polenta. The perfect warming dish for cold wintry days or alternatively, make in the summer and pull the meat from the bone to turn into burgers or a delicious filling for pasta.


Ask your butcher to portion your oxtail into even rounds, leaving the bone in.

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C.

Season each of your oxtail pieces generously on all sides with salt. Set a medium sized oven-proof casserole dish over a medium heat with a little cooking oil and bring to a nice hot temperature before adding oxtail. Add the pepper and sear in all sides until the outside of the oxtail turns a deep golden colour. Remove and set to one side. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce gently for 5-10 minutes until thick and glossy. Return the oxtail to the pan and cover with the beef bone broth. Add the thyme and star anise and bring to a simmer before transferring to the oven to cook for 4-5 hours, keeping the lid on the pan.

When ready, test the oxtail to see if it is ready; it should flake off the bone with ease. When suitably soft, remove the pan from the oven and lift out the oxtail with a slotted spoon. Set the pan over a medium heat and reduce the sauce slightly until nice and thick.

Return the oxtail to the pan and set aside until you are ready to serve.

For the polenta, bring a pan of seasoned milk to a simmer, add the polenta and whisk until thickened and resembling the consistency of a creamy porridge. Add a good handful of parmesan, check the seasoning and whisk again.

To cook the cavolo nero, heat the butter in a pan on a high heat until foaming. Add the salt, pepper and cavolo nero and gently fry until tender.

Divide the polenta between shallow bowls, add the cavolo nero and top with the warm oxtail and a generous ladleful of the rich, nutritious sauce.


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