Oxtail Stew with Celeriac and Potato Gratin

oxtail stewServes: 6
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 3-3½ hours


1.3kg/3lb lean oxtail pieces
30ml/2tbsp plain flour mixed with 10ml/2tsp Jerk seasoning (available from all good supermarkets
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
45ml/3tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
600ml/1pint stout or brown ale
300ml/½pint good, hot beef stock
25g/1oz good, dark plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 bouquet garni
1 small butternut squash or pumpkin (about 450g/1lb), peeled and roughly cubed
100g baby spinach leaves, rinsed
For the Celeriac and Potato Gratin:
450g/1lb celeriac, peeled, thinly sliced and par-boiled for 5 minutes
450g/1lb potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced and par-boiled for 5 minutes
1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
600ml/1pint hot double cream
25g/1oz grated cheese


1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3, 170°C, 325°F.

2. Mix the flour and seasonings in a large plastic food bag. Toss the oxtail pieces in the seasoned flour.

3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and cook the oxtail for 4-5 minutes until brown. Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish.

4. In the same frying pan, cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft then transfer to the casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients except the squash or pumpkin and spinach.

5. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in the oven for 3-3½ hours.

6. To prepare the gratin, grease a large ovenproof gratin dish. Arrange a layer of celeriac and potato slices with the garlic into the dish. Repeat until all the celeriac and potatoes are used up. Pour over the cream, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 40-45 minutes.

7. Forty minutes before the end of cooking add the squash or pumpkin. Return to the oven for the remainder of the cooking time. Remove the casserole and add the spinach,

8. Serve the stew with the gratin.

Tip: Any remaining stew tastes even better the following day. Remove from the fridge and heat slowly at the same oven temperature for about 1 hour until piping hot.

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