Thursday, 24 April 2014

Recipe: Slow Cooker Oxtail with Cauliflower Mash

People often throw their nose up at me when I mention that I eat less popular cuts of meat like offal but my philosophy is that if we choose to eat meat, the most humane thing we can do for that animal is to make sure we do it justice and eat the whole animal, not just the popular cuts.

Our ancestors would have eaten the entire animal - brain, heart, tongue and liver and would have used the fat for cooking and the hide for clothes. Their relationship with food was one of mutual respect and they enjoyed the entire animal. 
People today have become so detached from where their food has come that they are perfectly happy to eat a steak or a roast of beef but get disgusted at the thought of offal. I think this is an unfair way to view meat and one which I think we really need to move away from. 

Today I cooked a cut of meat that I have never used before - Oxtail - and you know what? It was pretty damn delicious! Oxtail is super cheap (mine was only €4!) and I bet if you have a good relationship with your butcher he would probably through it in for free! ;) 

This cut is best cooked long and slow, so cook it in a slow cooker at low for about 8 hours. If you don't have a slow cooker put it in a medium oven for 2.5 hours or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. 

Serves 2

1 Oxtail (mine came sliced in 2 large pieces and three smaller pieces) 
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tsp of dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 litre chicken stock or water
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp ghee
Salt & Pepper to taste

Season oxtail with salt, pepper, onion powder and dried herbs. 
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the oxtail and fry on a medium heat until browned on all sides.
Remove to slow cooker. 
Add all vegetables (except the cauliflower) to pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and add to meat. 
Place stock in the pan you used to fry the meat and deglaze the pan to remove the flavours stuck to the bottom.
Pour liquid off into the sowcooker with the meat and vegetables. Place on low setting for 8 hours.

For the cauliflower - Steam for 5/6 minutes until tender. Add ghee and salt and pepper to taste and blitz until smooth. 

Serve the oxtail with the vegetables and juices on the cauliflower mash. Yum! 

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