Step 1

Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1

Step 2

To begin, dust the oxtail in flour, then melt a generous amount of butter in a cast iron casserole dish, large enough to snugly fit all of the oxtail

Step 3

Fry the oxtail in batches, being careful to not let them colour too much. Add 3 of the onions when you come to the last batch of oxtails

Step 4

Place all of the browned oxtail and onion in the casserole dish and pour over the wine, covering the meat completely

Step 5

Add the onions, garlic, pepper, salt and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, simmer for 5 minutes then cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours, then check on it and stir

Step 6

After 3.5 hours, it should be nearly done (but it could need 4 hours depending on the age and breed of the animal)

Step 7

Once cooked, let it cool slightly, then take out the oxtail and pick the meat from the bones. Place the picked meat in a separate container and set aside

Step 8

Bring the gravy to the boil once more, it should be quite soupy. Mix a teaspoon of butter with a teaspoon of flour and add to the gravy to thicken it

Step 9

Stir in a teaspoon redcurrant jelly or apple syrup – this will give your sauce a nice glaze and soften the strong wine flavour. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper if needed. Place the meat back in the sauce and keep warm

Step 10

Prepare the polenta as per packet instructions. You could substitute part of the water needed to cook it for stock for an even richer flavour. Make sure you season generously with salt as polenta is bland without it

Step 11

When ready to serve, scoop the polenta onto a large serving platter and place the juicy meat on top. You could also create a base of polenta on each plate using a food ring and place some of the meat on one side

Recipe courtesy of