We had a delivery from Huntsham Court Farm in Hereford last week which consisted of a mixed box of Longhorn Beef bits. All the meat had been hung for 32 days and was of exceptional quality. The Marrow Bones were straight out of the Natural History Museum!
We managed to get 14 Sirloin steaks (which were served with Roquefort butter,new potatoes and a simple salad)
We also got 4 kilos of stewing beef and a couple of oxtails which became partners in a delicious stew based on one that maman used to make when I was little. A lot of people shy away from oxtail as its quite fatty, but you know how me and Sanchia are about all things fat!
Its difficult to tell what quantities as we make so much at the pub so these are guesstimates for approx 6 to 8 people.
1.5 Kilos of stewing beef
500ml of red wine
500ml of stock
Tin of Tomatoes
8 large carrots
8 large shallots
garlic (to taste)
4 sticks of Celery
the peel of 1/2 an orange
12 juniper berries
a couple of mace blades
8 black peppercorns
You can see said stew in 3 stages above. Stringing up the oxtail vertebrae is essential otherwise it falls off the bone and you will get lots of oxtail vertebrae and no defined oxtail meat. Sealing the meat in oil also helps it stay together when added to liquid later.
Sweat off lots of shallots, celery and garlic and orange peel in the same oil that sealed the oxtail until soft then add a generous amount of red wine and equal parts beef or veal stock (or veg stock would also be fine as we are putting in plenty of flavoursome beef into this dish).
Add in Carrots and large cubes of stewing beef... and any other root vegetables that you want (turnips and parsnips would work well) and a few Bay leaves, black pepper corns, the mace and the juniper berries... the oxtail can be returned to the pot at this stage. A tin of good quality peeled tomatoes should be added at this point with a couple of spoons of tomato puree. Taste after 10 minutes and add salt to taste ... you may not need any as the stock should have some in already.
This can then be left for approximately 6 to 8 hours on a low heat simmering away. As most stews, this gets better after a day in the fridge! We served ours with a good potato puree/ mashed potatoes ... you need some thing to mop up the juice with so make sure you have some crusty bread on hand.
We have a couple of Huntsham Farm Tongues and a Longhorn Brisket sitting in Brine awaiting some attention from Sanchia ... watch this space for more beefy offal dishes!