Richard H. Turner's Oxtail Stew

'An animal's extremities, such as tails or cheeks, are still relatively cheap and should not be thrown away. Another of those forgotten cuts, oxtail has its own unique flavour that reminds me of a childhood in my mother's kitchen. Yes, I know how that reads, but it does.'

Wise words from Chef here - straight out of his book Prime - and we all know where he is coming from when it comes to memories of food from our youth. Some dishes do have a tendency to stick around fondly, especially when they are as comforting as this one.

Which is why we have chosen this stonking stew as our recipe of the week.

Except there is a twist. During the recreation for the photo above, a rogue Scotch Bonnet needed using up and it added just an extra kick of heat to proceedings.

And let's be honest, it is starting to get a bit chilly out there anyway.

So this sort of makes sense.


  1. Place a large, deep roasting tray in the oven and preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6. When the oven and the tray are hot, put the oxtail into the tray. Season and roast in the hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelised.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the leeks and celery and halve lengthways, then chop into rough chunks. Peel the carrots and chop into rough chunks. Add the vegetables to the oxtail for another 10 minutes.
  3. Take the roasting tray out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) Gas Mark 2.
  4. Over a medium heat on the hob, add the flour to the roasting tray, stirring well to combine. Pour in the tomatoes and wine, add the herbs, Scotch Bonnet, season, then cover with the beef broth and stir well. Bring to a simmer, cover and return to the oven for around 4 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Drain the oxtail and vegetables and pass the sauce through a fine sieve. Return the meat to the pan with the vegetables, discarding the faggot of herbs and Scotch Bonnet. Reheat, correct the seasoning and serve with the mashed roots and vegetables.

Prime by Richard H. Turner, is published by Mitchell Beazley £25