Piquillo peppers stuffed with oxtail

Piquillo peppers stuffed with oxtail

Pintxo

By
From
Basque
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Laura Edwards

You will usually find piquillo peppers stuffed with cod brandada and sometimes with pisto (vegetable stew), but I think they go beautifully with rich, meaty oxtail. Oxtail is often cooked with red wine, maybe because people think the strong flavour of the oxtail will stand up to a big red. I’m turning this on its head a little, though, and using Txakoli instead. The flavour is more delicate and doesn’t overpower the delicious meat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.5kg oxtail
1 bottle txakoli or other crisp dry white wine
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
handful parsley sprigs
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
750ml fresh beef or chicken stock
2 x 220g jars of piquillo peppers, drained
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 free-range eggs, beaten

Method

  1. Put the oxtail into a dish, pour over the wine and add the vegetables, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley and marinate overnight.
  2. Drain the oxtail and vegetables, reserving the wine, and pat dry. Heat some oil in a heavy-based pan. Season the oxtail and fry until golden on both sides, then tip into a casserole dish. Add the vegetables to the pan with a little more oil if needed and fry for 10 minutes to soften. Tip into the casserole dish. Return the wine and aromatics to the meat and add enough stock to cover.
  3. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2½– 3 hours. Remove the lid for the last half an hour of cooking and reduce until the sauce thickens and the meat falls off the bones.
  4. Remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and continue to reduce the sauce until glossy and thick. Shred the meat from the bones, mix with the vegetables and just enough sauce to coat. Keep the rest of the sauce to serve.
  5. Stuff the peppers with the oxtail ragu. Heat a layer of oil in a pan. Dip each pepper in the flour, then in the egg, and fry for a few minutes each side until golden. Heat the rest of the sauce in a small pan. Serve the fried peppers with the sauce spooned over the top.
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