Oxtail with herby polenta dumplings

Oxtail with herby polenta dumplings

We absolutely love a good oxtail, especially when the colder months come around. This delicious oxtail with herby polenta dumplings is perfect for a lazy afternoon. Grab a glass of your favourite red, sit back and enjoy!

Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube

Photograph by Dylan Swart 

ALSO TRY: Apricot and tomato oxtail stew

Oxtail with herby polenta dumplings

By Nomvuselelo Mncube Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • OXTAIL

  • 80g cake flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1,2kg oxtail
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 leeks cut in half, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • handful fresh rosemary sprigs
  • handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 x 410g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml red wine
  • 1L beef stock
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • POLENTA DUMPLINGS

  • 120g instant polenta
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1,25ml (¼ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) salt
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 125ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • handful fresh thyme leaves, parsley and coriander, chopped

Instructions

1

In a large mixing bowl, season the cake flour to taste. Add the oxtail, tossing to coat thoroughly. Remove the oxtail, shaking off the excess flour.

2

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the oxtail in batches and brown on all sides. Remove the oxtail from the pot and set aside until needed.

3

To the same pot, add the onion and fry for 1 minute, before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook for another minute before adding the leeks, celery, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, wine and stock, and stir until simmering.

4

Return the oxtail to the pot, cover, and cook over low heat for 4½ hours, stirring occasionally. Keep checking to make sure the sauce doesn’t dry out, adding a little water if necessary. Add the carrots and cook for another 30 minutes.

5

While the oxtail is cooking, prepare the dumplings. In a large mixing bowl, combine the polenta, self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the polenta mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.

6

Create a small well in the centre of the polenta mix and pour in the buttermilk. Add the herbs and gradually mix to combine. Be careful not to overwork the mixture.

7

When the mixture is combined, scoop about 30ml (2 tbsp) of dough and roll it into a ball. Transfer the ball to a plate and repeat these steps until all the dough is used. Cover the dumplings with cling film and set aside to rest, 20 minutes.

8

Add the dumplings to the oxtail and continue to cook, covered, 30 minutes.

9

Remove from heat and serve.

 

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