I was very glad when my nutritionist advised me to eat gelatinous cuts of meat. It seems gelatine is an anti-inflammatory, which is good for loads of people, including those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It’s also a great source of protein. Not that I needed a reason to eat oxtail. That yummy gooey tenderness is just so ridiculously good. Anyway, this is a super easy way to cook them, with mind blowing results. I think such dishes should be eaten with mashed potato or polenta or some such thing. So I was also very glad that my nutritionist advised me that I should always consume carbohydrates with my protein, preferably in a 2:1 ratio. This way I get a range of energy sources accessible in different time frames, but I don’t sap my body of energy trying to digest the protein, I give it some fuel with which to do so. I love vegetables though, and think that cauliflower pairs perfectly with this dish. I’d recently read a few things about roasting cauliflower and liked the idea so much that I gave it a go. It was worth it.
I can’t claim the idea for the flavour combinations in this dish. I was inspired by Peter Kuravita. The trick to this dish is choosing a beer with chocolate overtones. I used the porter produced by James Squires. You could use Guinness if you wanted to. At the very end of the cooking, the braising liquid is reduced right down then taken off the heat before adding a few pieces of dark chocolate to melt through and add a rich silkiness to the sauce. It’s divine.
Melt two teaspoons of butter in a deep frying pan and brown the oxtails all over, in batches if necessary. Return the oxtails to the pan and pour over the porter. Add enough water for the oxtails to be covered in liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then cover the pan and turn the heat down to low and gently cook for four hours.
Preheat the oven to 240oC. Slice the cauliflower into pieces one centimetre thick and rub with butter. Place the Cauliflower on a lined baking tray and roast for 15 minutes, then turn it over and roast for another 15 minutes. You want a bit of colour on it.
Meanwhile, remove the oxtails from the braising liquid and set aside in a warm place. Turn the heat up and reduce the braising liquid to a thick gravy. Turn off the heat and take the pan away from the stove. Add the chocolate to the gravy and stir through till melted and well combined. Taste and season with more salt as required. Return the meat to the gravy and turn to coat. Cover the pan while you serve the remaining components.
Divide the mashed potato on the plate and divide the oxtail between them. Drizzle over the chocolate gravy and serve with the roasted cauliflower. Enjoy!