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Chef’s Kitchen Breathe : Sat, Drink, Sleep (Part 3) - Oxtail with chicken stuffing and pinotage sauce

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Oxtail with chicken stuffing and pinotage sauce

Oxtail with chicken stuffing and pinotage sauce

Oxtail with chicken stuffing and pinotage sauce

The flavour combinations

·         45ml (3 tbsp) sunflower oil

·         1,6 – 2kg oxtail (bone in), cut into 3cm slices

·         2 large onions, cut into 1cm cubes

·         2 medium carrots, cut into 1cm cubes

·         1 leek, cut into 1cm cubes

·         2 stalks celery, cut into 1cm cubes

·         30ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste

·         750ml Springfontein Terroir

·         Selection Pinotage + extra, for sauce

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

·         2 fresh bay leaves

·         2 sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme

·         8 baby onions, peeled

·         Butter, for greasing + 50 – 100g extra, for sauce

Stuffing

·         1 x 140 – 180g chicken breast

·         100ml fresh cream

·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

·         Ice cube

·         100g croutons (made with day-old white bread and pan-fried)

·         10ml (2 tsp) fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, rosemary and thyme)

Polenta balls

·         200g polenta

·         Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

·         Handful breadcrumbs

·         Green and yellow butter beans, sliced lengthways, to serve

How to do it

Polenta balls

Polenta balls

1.    Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sear the oxtail. Remove from the pan. Add the chopped vegetables to the juices in the saucepan and sear over medium heat until lightly browned.

2.    Add tomato paste and a splash of pinotage. Bring juices to a simmer and reducing the mixture. Deglaze with another splash of pinotage, reduce again and repeat this process three times.

3.    Return the oxtail to the pan with glazed vegetables. Add remaining red wine and enough water to cover oxtail. Cover with a lid and braise until the meat is easy to remove from bones, about 2 hours. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and baby onions after 1 hour.

4.    Preheat oven to 90°C.

5.    For the stuffing, remove the sinews from the chicken breast. Using a blender or food processor, blitz the chicken breast with the cream, salt, pepper and a nice cube to keep the filling cold. Place the filling in a large bowl and fold in the croutons and chopped herbs.

6.    Remove oxtail and baby onions from the pan and set aside onions. Using your fingers, debone the oxtail and set aside the meat, reserving the braising sauce.

7.    Place 4 buttered ring moulds on a buttered baking tray, and place the pieces of oxtail meat around the inside edges of the cooking rings. Fill the centre of the oxtail with the stuffing and cover the filled rings with buttered foil so that the mixture does not stick or dry out.

8.    Heat oxtail rings in the preheated oven, about 1 hour, by which time they should be fully cooked but still tender inside.

9.    While the oxtail rings are cooking in the oven, strain the sauce that is left over from braising the oxtail through a fine sieve. Taste the sauce and check consistency. If needed, reduce further over medium heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and another splash of red wine. Finish with 50 – 100g butter. If necessary, thicken sauce with 5ml (1 tsp) cornstarch, blended with a splash of cold water before adding to the sauce.

10.  For the polenta balls, make the polenta according to packet instructions and allow to cool. In a separate bowl, mix together the chopped parsley and breadcrumbs. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Form the cooled polenta into bite-size balls and add to the saucepan and simmer, about 3 minutes. Drain and roll the polenta in the breadcrumb mixture, set aside.

11.  To plate, unmould the oxtail from the metal rings and place in the centre of warmed plates. Pour sauce over stuffed oxtail. Serve with baby onions, polenta balls, and green and yellow butter beans.

 

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