The blast of late Winter cold has perked up my appetite for the kind of hearty all-in-the pot supper that brings inner warmth and comfort on a chilly night.  This tasty recipe for a slow-cooked, traditional-style oxtail stew takes time but it is well worth the wait.  We pair it with Avondale’s velvety and elegant classic red blend, La Luna.  Made from organically-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, La Luna offers scents of cedar, truffles and dark fruit with full plum and mulberry flavours that perfectly complement rich, clove-tinged meatiness of the oxtail stew.



1kg oxtail joints
30ml olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
3 leeks, sliced
6 medium carrots, grated
2 medium turnips, grated
½ cup celery leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Flour, seasoned, for dusting
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
8 cloves
12 peppercorns
½ litre boiling water
½ litre cider or red wine or medium sherry
2 410g tins of whole or chopped tomatoes



  1. Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based pan and brown the oxtail.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Add rest of olive oil and lightly stir fry onions and leeks until softened and golden.  Add and stir fry carrots, turnips, celery leaves and garlic until slightly softened.  Remove from heat and place at the bottom of a deep casserole dish.
  3. Season flour with salt and pepper, dust and rub into oxtail.  Pack dusted pieces of oxtail in one layer on top the vegetables in the casserole dish.
  4. Sprinkle over thyme, parsley, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns.
  5. Gently pour in water and cider (or wine or sherry).  The liquid should just cover the top of the meat.
  6. Cover the casserole and put into an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 4 hours.
  7. Remove casserole from the oven and add the tinned tomatoes and juices.  Check that a gravy of a good consistency is forming, and add more of any of the liquids if too dry.  Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours until meat is falling-off-the-bone-tender.  If the gravy seems too runny, thicken with corn flour and cook for a further 20 minutes.


Enjoy with mashed potatoes and Avondale’s La Luna.