Sunday, November 29, 2020

Christmas main courses

Oxtail Casserole and Creamy mash


6 oxtail pieces (still on the bone)

Salt and peppered plain flour - enough to dust the oxtail (if you are catering for coeliacs you can swap out the flour and use gluten free instead)

Olive oil and butter to fry the onions and brown the oxtail and sweat the onions and carrot

1 onion - chopped small

A large carrot - chopped small

4 fat cloves of garlic (optional Katie!) 

1tsp dried rosemary

1 bouquet garni 

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried thyme 

Large glass of red wine (Katie’s Fitou is delicious in this but I’ll understand if you don’t want to use it in the recipe)

Double the volume of the wine you used in beef stock (I used 250ml and 500ml when I made this)

1 tin chopped tomato 

¼ tsp xanthan gum with a little water if required to thicken 


Served with buttery mashed potatoes or polenta (I totally cheat with polenta and just get the ready made stuff from Tesco - add a generous grating of fresh parmesan to give it a lift) and green beans 


Dust each of the oxtails in the seasoned flour 

Heat the oil and butter together in a pan and brown the oxtails - add to the casserole dish 

Fry the onions, garlic, carrot on a low heat until soft and browned & add to the casserole dish 

Top with the stock, wine and herbs 


Cook in oven in a covered casserole for around 4 hours on a low heat - 150c 


When the meat is falling off the bone, remove from the oven, remove the oxtails and keep warm

If you can do this in the casserole dish then do that.  Otherwise transfer all the remainder to a large pan. 

Remove the bouquet garni 

Boil vigorously until the sauce thickens.  (If the sauce needs a little help then mix ¼ tsp of xanthan gum to a splash of water and mix that in.  Be careful not to use too much as it can be really effective!) 

Strip the meat from the bones and shred 

When the sauce has thickened add the meat back in.  Bring back a serving temperature and serve on a bed of creamy mash with green beans alongside 




Roast duck with lentils 


1 duck breast per person

100g of lentils per person (I used green but this can be totally a personal choice)

40g saucisson sec per person 


Assuming 2 portions

1 carrot chopped small

½ onion chopped small 

1 garlic clove (you can miss that out Katie)

500 ml beef stock 

125 ml red wine 

1 tsp fresh thyme 

Parsley to serve 


Fry the carrot, onion and garlic until soft (on a low heat)

Add the saucisson sec to the pan and increase the heat a little

Add the stock, wine and lentils to the pan 

Simmer on a low heat, covered for around 30 mins until al dente (do keep an eye on this.  



Salt and pepper the duck breast 

Score the skin to allow the fat to drain (keep it for Christmas roast potatoes if you can)

In a hot pan, fry the skin to colour and crisp 



Pop in the oven on 180 for 8 mins, uncovered (this will still be pink so give it longer if you prefer)

Allow to rest for 5 mins - covered to keep warm 

Slice and serve on top of the lentils 

Dress with the parsley