This rich and flavorful braised oxtail ragu is delicious served with pasta, gnocchi or even creamy polenta.
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We feel badly writing our first thoughts as negative ones. All of your recipes have been great! We have tried so many of them and Don has loved learning to cook with your website. However, this was our first dish that Rouxbe let us down. The oxtail was expensive, the chanterelles were expensive, and the overall taste was very bland, despite putting in the bouquet garni, which we picked from our own organic garden. But the batting average is still 99.9% so we say, thanks Rouxbe and keep up the good work!
Thanks for your feedback. Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the dish; however, this is where you can use the skills and techniques from the Combination Cooking lessons in the cooking school and begin to create your own twists and add flavors that will enhance the dish to your liking.
Not saying you did this, but sometimes if a not-so-flavorful stock is used or the seasoning is a bit off, it can make a huge difference in the dish. Glad you are enjoying the site and hope you have continued success. Cheers!
It is reminiscent of a beef short rib recipe that I made last winter. I think the big difference (aside from the addition of the chanterelles) is the texture of the meat. The oxtail is just a little bit firmer than short ribs. Overall, especially if homemade beef stock is used -- it is very richly flavored.
I found the price of ingredients to be on par with short ribs (generally considered an inexpensive cut of meat.) I spent about $13 on the oxtail at a local Asian market. I spent just under $9.00 for the chanterelle mushrooms because they are currently in season in our local stores.
A couple of things I would change if making this again:
1.) I used 2 TBS oil (2-4 was the recommendation) to sear the oxtail, and then to saute the mire poi. In my opinion, this was too much. The oxtail was very fatty, and so without draining off the oil/fat mixture, the mire poi was too saturated to deglaze with wine after sauteing.
2.) I would cook the chanterelles in 1/3 cup of dry sherry before adding to the ragu. I felt that the chanterelles got a little "lost" in the richness of the sauce. I think the sherry would help distinguish the mushrooms from the rest of the sauce.
3.) I would use a base other than polenta for this dish. Personally, I liked the polenta, but my husband felt that it was just "wrong" (I made a soft, smooth polenta with plain water and seasoned with fresh oregano and garlic. Despite the savory spices, he still thinks polenta is better for "morning food", than for a base on a main dish. Oh well, it was worth a try.
Braised the oxtails in red wine and veal stock for the full six hours at 200F the day before and strained the sauce rather than puréed the mirepoix. Then thickened the sauce with a little roux made from the fat that solidified on top of the sauce overnight. Texture and flavor were fantastic. I served it with polenta that had a bit of white cheddar mixed in and garnished with chives and fried sliced shallot for some crunch. This is definitely a meal for a cold winter night. Delicious but very rich and filling.
I love this recipe. It is really comfort food at it's finest! This time, the chanterelles were no longer on sale ($14.00/lb at my local store) so I decided to substitute them with oyster mushrooms. I cooked the oyster mushrooms with 1/4 cup of dry sherry and then added it to the braising sauce. I was surprised. I actually liked the oyster mushrooms better in this dish. They have a chewier texture, which I think stands up nicely to the firmness of the oxtail.
The other change that I made was cooking my roux slurry (oxtail fat & flour) to a chocolate brown color (approximately 10 minutes) before adding the sauce, and then I reduced the sauce for about 30 minutes to attain the thicker texture that I wanted. I really enjoyed the added depth of color that this modification made.
I served this dish with a spicy, curly kale & carrot salad (fresh garlic, ginger, sesame oil & aioli dressing), which was a rich enough accompaniment to negate the desire for a cheese topping (I love gorgonzola, so this is the cheese that I would otherwise use for crumbles on top -- or for a side salad) to compliment the richness of this dish.