Category Archives: Red Meat

Provençal Style Lamb Casserole

(serves 4)
This is a minimalist Provencal Lamb Casserole which is easy to prepare and its hearty ingredients are perfect for cold weather meals. The lamb is braised in a white wine and anchovy stock while the gamey flavour of the meat is tempered with lots of garlic and herbs. The other main ingredient of this rustic Mediterranean dish is eggplant.      


  1. Lamb Belly (500g)
  2. Eggplant (1)
  3. Shallots (6)
  4. Garlic (2 bulbs)
  5. Anchovy In Oil (25g)
  6. White Wine (3/4 cup)
  7. Bread (2 slices)
  8. Flour
  9. Worcestershire Sauce
  10. Mustard
  11. Pesto
  12. Oregano


  1. Peel the garlic bulbs into cloves and peel the shallots but leave them whole.
  2. If your lamb belly doesn’t come as cubes, cut them into cubes. Put the lamb into a zip lock bag and spoon in 2T(heaped) of flour. Shake until the lamb is evenly coated in the flour.
  3. Heat up a frying pan with 3T of oil. Brown the lamb in the pan a few pieces at a time and then arrange the pieces of meat into a casserole dish.
  4. Push half the garlic cloves and all the shallots snugly between the pieces of meat as shown.
  5. Pan fry 25g (about 1T) of anchovy in its own oil, in the same pan you used to brown the lamb without washing it. Mash us the anchovy until it is a fine suspension and deglaze with 3/4 cup of white wine. Add 2T of pesto, 1t of worcestershire sauce, 1t of sugar, 1t mustard and 1t of oregano. Pour in 1/2 a cup of water. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute. This will be the braising liquid.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200oC (390oF).
  7. Pour the braising liquid into the casserole.
  8. Slice the eggplant and arrange the slices over the lamb in the casserole.
  9. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven for 2 hours. After half an hour reduce the temperature to 150oC (300oF).
  10. Lightly toast 2 slices of sandwich bread. Cut the toast into mini croutons.
  11. Mince the remaining garlic cloves in a garlic press.
  12. Fry the minced garlic in a pan with 3T oil on low heat until it stops clumping together. At this stage add the bread and stir fry until the croutons are crispy and a nice shade of golden brown as shown. Leave to cool in the pan.
  13. With 10 minutes to go on the baking time, take the casserole out and sprinkle on some black pepper and all the garlic croutons. Return to the oven uncovered for the last 10 minutes.
  14. Serve the lamb in the casserole dish directly from the oven to table.

NotesLamb Casserole 1004

  • This lamb casserole is not meant to be eaten by itself. You should serve it with a separately cooked staple, like potatoes or polenta.
  • While the Provencal Style is French, it has some similarity with Italian and Greek cuisine because they all share the same Mediterranean climate.
  • You can consider crushing the croutons into breadcrumbs after they cool. Its a trade off. You will lose some of the crunch of the bread, but it give a nice appealing look to the casserole. To accompany this look you can also slice the eggplant thin and arrange the slices in a ratatouille style overlapping spiral.
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Posted by on January 17, 2018 in French, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat


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Goma Style Cold Ramen (Hiyashi Chuka)

(serves 2-3)
Cold Ramen or Hiyashi Chuka was traditionally served in summer as a refreshing chilled alternative to hot Ramen in the days before air-conditioning became commonplace and is still served seasonally in some places. Thus all the ingredients of Hiyashi Chuka, cucumber, ham, omelette and imitation crab sticks and even the Ramen itself are served cold. This Goma variety is served in a creamy sesame sauce and is great for lunch on a hot day. If you love the taste of peanut butter, you are definitely a fan of Goma Hiyashi Chuka, even if you don’t know it yet.    


  1. Ramen (2 servings)
  2. Tahini
  3. Ham (100g)
  4. Imitation Crab Sticks (100g)
  5. Cucumber (1/2)
  6. Eggs (2)
  7. Sesame Oil
  8. Sesame Seeds (black or white)
  9. Soya Sauce
  10. Rice Vinegar
  11. Mirin
  12. Hon Dashi Granules

Early Preparation 

  1. If you keep your Tahini in the fridge, take it out ahead of time so it has a chance to warm up.
  2. Dissolve 1t of Hon Dashi granules in 1/3 cup of warm water to make some stock.
  3. Beat 2 eggs with 1/3 of the stock, 1T of Mirin and 1 heaped t of sugar. Cook an omelette with the egg mixture, using low heat to make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Cut the omelette into strips that are about 1/8 of an inch wide and place the egg strips in the fridge, covered in cling film.
  4. Cut the ham into long strips matching the egg. Do the same with the crab sticks. Also put them in the fridge in cling film.
  5. Julienne half a cucumber into long thin pieces. They must be as thin as the noodles so they don’t remain rigid. Ideally you’d use a mandolin slicer for the cucumber as it is difficult to cut the cucumber sufficiently thin by hand. Keep the julienned cucumber in the fridge as well.
  6. If you intend to make your Hiyashi Chuka presentable keep all the toppings separate in the fridge. They should also all be of the same length.
  7. Now for the sauce.  Mix 3 heaped t of Tahini with 2T sesame oil, 1T rice vinegar, 1T Mirin, 1t soya sauce in a bowl. Use the back of a tea spoon in a circular motion to integrate the tahini into an emulsion.
  8. Dissolve 1t sugar in the remaining stock. Stir the stock slowly into the emulsion to thin it down into a sauce and then place the sauce in the fridge. It should thicken again once it becomes cold.

When You Are Ready To Serve

  1. Boil the ramen. When the noodles are done (it’s best to judge by tasting) rinse them immediately with running cold tap water in a colander. You’ll need to move the ramen around with your hands as the bottom portion will tend to stay warm. Use iced water if it is a warm day and your tap water is not cold.
  2. Leave the colander to drain for a short while and then divide the ramen onto plates. Pour the sauce evenly into the noodles and then arrange the toppings over the noodles.
  3. Finally sprinkle each plate with some sesame seeds and serve.


  • Gomadare means Sesame Paste Sauce, which is where the ‘Goma’ in Goma Hiyashi Chuka comes from. Plain Hiyashi Chuka refers to original cold ramen that is served in a vinegary soya sauce.
  • Hiyashi means chilled, which makes sense but Chuka means Chinese Style, which is strange since this dish was invented in Japan. My guess is that the closest thing Cold Ramen resembled when it first came out was Chinese tossed noodles (i.e. Lo Mein) and that’s how Chuka came into the picture.   
  • The egg and cucumber are standard ingredients for Hiyashi Chuka, but the strips of meat are allowed to vary. You can also have more than 4 toppings. Some common alternatives/additions are roast chicken, Chashu pork, fish cake, corn and tomato.
  • The sweet omelette is essentially made according my Tamagoyaki Recipe. You can check it out if your are interested in the finer details.
  • The Ramen that you use should be of the yellow wavy type. If you can’t find ramen pasta is a viable alternative. In Japanese-western buffets you sometimes see a cold pasta version of Goma Hiyashi Chuka in the appetizer section. And of course you could try making ramen from spaghetti. Whatever noodle you end up using, make sure its a type of noodle that doesn’t get mushy easily – i.e. no instant noodles.
  • If you have no Hon Dashi, you can substitute in 1/3 cup of any kind of stock you fancy, but it should be salted.
  • If you have no Mirin you can boil 4T Sake with a dab of maple syrup down to 2T to make your own substitute.
  • If you have no rice vinegar, any kind of white vinegar should do.
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in Japanese, Pasta, Recipe, Red Meat, Seafood


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Lamb Sausage Ragu with Conchiglie

(serves 3)
This is a speedy (relatively) and convenient method of making a Lamb Ragu Pasta that makes no compromises on taste. I avoid the arduous task of slow-cooking mutton by using the minced meat from lamb sausages. In fact I find the starch, fat, herbs and spices of the sausage actually make for a better pasta sauce. The result is a delicious wholesome and flavourful meat sauce that can’t be beat.
Ingredients Lamb Conchiglie 1200
  1. Lamg Sausage (350g)
  2. Brown or White Mushrooms (100g)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Garlic(1 bulb = 12 cloves)
  5. Conchiglie (3 cups)
  6. Oxo Stock Cube (2)
  7. Red Wine (1 cup)
  8. Turmeric
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Oregano


  1. Peel and then cut your onion into 6 wedges. Then slice them coarsely and pan fry in a large pan with some oil on low heat.
  2. In the meanwhile, slice your lamb sausages lengthwise on one side and peel off the skin. Place all the minced lamb in a bowl with half a cup of water. Mix well to loosen up the meat.
  3. Remove the onion from the pan, turn up the heat, add some oil and throw in the meat. Break up the clumps of meat as the water boils away. When the meat begins to brown, return the onion plus any drippings to the pan and continue stir-frying for another minute.
  4. Next add 1 cup of wine. Then add 2 oxo stock cubes (I normally use beef but you can also use lamb) dissolved in 2 cups of hot water.
  5. Peel your garlic bulb and throw the individual cloves into the pan. Quarter each mushroom into and add them to the pan as well.
  6. Add 1t sugar, 1t turmeric, 1t coriander seed powder and 1T oregano. Turn down the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes to1 hour – until the sour taste of the wine is gone. Add water as needed such that you end up with a light sauce. You can make the sauce ahead of time, just keep it in the fridge til its needed.
  7. Boil your pasta in a pot of water with a dash of olive oil until it is about 2/3 cooked. Strain and then add your pasta to the pan and stir fry until the pasta is al dente. Add water as required such that you end up with a thick sauce just as the pasta is done. Splash on 4T of olive oil after turning the fire off.
  8. Sprinkle on some black pepper and perhaps some parsley after plating.


  • You can use 3/4 cup red wine plus 1/4 cup Marsala wine for a more authentic Italian taste – remember to skip the 1t of sugar in step 6.
  • Conchiglie a.k.a. seashell pasta is the best choice of pasta for this kind of sauce as it can hold the bits of meat better. Another type of paste suitable for this dish is farfalle, a.k.a. butterfuly pasta.
  • The picture would look nicer if I had just cooked the pasta separately and then poured the sauce over it, but then it wouldn’t taste nearly as good. Sometimes you have to sacrifice looks for taste.
  • Ragu and Ragout are both a dish made from gamey meat and chopped vegetables. Ragu is Italian and is usually cooked as a sauce. Ragout is French and is usually a stew.
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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Italian, Main Courses, Pasta, Recipe, Red Meat


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Duck Confit and Sherry Pot Pie

(serves 6)
This Duck and Sherry Pie is a great festive dish for the winter season. It is quick and convenient as the Duck Confit (Cuisse de Canard Confit) will provide all the flavor that you’ll need. And the meat in Duck Confit already comes tender, so you don’t need to stew any duck for hours either. Furthermore the recipe resolves the issue of confit being overly salty by cooking the pie filling with sherry and sweet potatoes.     

IngredientsDuck Confit Filling

  1. Duck Leg Confit (2)
  2. Carrot (1 large)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Sweet Potato (2)
  5. Mushrooms (100g)
  6. Peas (1/2 cup)
  7. Milk (1 cup)
  8. Sherry
  9. Mustard
  10. Flour
  11. Potato (2) – for the crust


  1. Peel sweet potatoes and carrot. Cut the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms into 1 inch pieces. Dice the carrot and onion into 1/2 inch cubes or pieces.
  2. Debone the duck confit. This should be an easy task as the meat is practically falling off the bone anyway. Break up the duck meat into large chunks with two forks. Gently heat the duck confit in a pot, just enough to liquefy the lard the confit comes in.
  3. Spoon 6T of the duck oil into a pan and decant the rest into a bowl or jar for storage.
  4. Place the pan on a low fire and fry the onion and carrot bits until the onion softens.
  5. Sprinkle on 2T of flour and continue to stir fry for a minute. Slowly stir in 2/3 cup of milk, followed by 1/2 cup of sherry. Next add sufficient hot water to result in thin sauce. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Next add the mushroom, peas and duck to the pan. Sprinkle on 1t sugar, 1t mustard and 1t of black pepper. After simmering for a further 5 minutes your filling will be ready.
  7. For the crust, boil 2 large potatoes for 15 minutes, peel and then mash them with 1/3 cup milk and 2T of duck oil.
  8. Pour your pie filling into either a large baking dish or spoon into individual ramekins or gratin dishes. Cover with a layer of the mash. Bake in the oven at 180oC until the crests of the mash get brown.

Duck Confit Pie


  • For a traditional pastry type pie, skip step 7 & 8 and follow the procedure as described in my Savoury Pies Page.
  • You’ll notice that we didn’t need to use any salt, stock cubes or herbs. This is because confit is pre-marinated with herbs, garlic and a hefty amount of salt and then cooked in its own rendered lard as you will see from my Duck Confit Page, If we had used butter and flour to make the sauce instead, you’d need to add all kinds of other ingredients to get the taste right.
  • As you are not baking the duck confit directly to get a crispy skin, there is no need to buy ‘fresh’ duck confit from the grocer. Those that come in a can are perfectly fine for this recipe.
  • Some of my friends prefer to eat my duck filling with bread instead of inside a pie, as pictured at the top of the page. This is even more convenient.
  • If you would like a creamier pie, add 2T of sour cream in step 6.

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Slow Cooked Beef Shank Kebabs

(serves 4)
This is a very unauthentic recipe for kebabs, but it is however a great way to cook stew-type cuts of beef without actually making a stew. Its actually more of a cross between shish kebab and boeuf bourguignon. I think of it more as a Provencal-style dish than Persian. We start out by making a stew in white wine and end up drying up the stew into a nice tasty glazing for the beef chunks.

Ingredients Beef Kebab

  1. Beef Shank (800g)
  2. Carrot (1 large)
  3. Eggplant (1 large)
  4. Garlic (12 cloves = 1 bulb)
  5. Mushrooms (200g)
  6. Shallots (8)
  7. White Wine (1 cup)
  8. Oxo Beef Cube
  9. Pesto
  10. Oregano
  11. Thyme
  12. flour


  1. Cut your beef into large cubes after removing any chunky bits of connective (white) tissue. Besides using beef shank, other appropriate cuts would be rib fingers, brisket or cheek. Lightly salt the beef.
  2. Preheat your over to 150oC (300oF). Dissolve1 Oxo beef cube in 1.25 cups of hot water.
  3. Peel an entire garlic bulb and put half the cloves through a press. Peel the shallots but keep them whole. Cut the carrots, mushrooms and egg plant into pieces of the appropriate size.
  4. Put the beef cubes into a zip loc bag with 2T(heaped) of flour. Shake the bag until all the surfaces are thoroughly coated.
  5. Heat up a pan with 3T of oil and lightly sear all the sides of the beef cubes. Do this a few pieces at a time.
  6. Place the seared beef into a large pyrex dish, followed by the cut vegetables around the meat. Sprinkle on 2T of oregano and 2T of thyme. If you really want to you can skewer everything on metal skewers first like real kebabs (except for the garlic).
  7. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of white wine. Add the beef stock. Add 2T of pesto and the crushed garlic. Cook for a minute. Pour over the beef and then cover the pyrex baking dish snugly with foil.
  8. Poke 3 small holes in the foil with a toothpick. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to dry up the liquid and give the beef a nice glaze.

Notes Kebab before oven

  • You may have noticed I did not skewer the kebabs. I usually skip this as its tedious to do the skewering and the un-skewering. 
  •  If you are having a real BBQ, you can throw your pre-cooked kebabs (skewered) over an open flame BBQ to get the charcoal flavour.  
  • If you have a Dutch oven like le Creuset you can use that instead of the pyrex dish. 

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Pesto Crusted Lamb Chop Medallions

(serves 2)
This is a delightful main course which improves on your run-of-the-mill pan fried lamb chops by a mile. It solves the thousand year old lamb chop connundrum by cooking the tender eye seperately from the tougher bone portion, plus it uses the trimmings to create an incredibly intense sauce. If I must say so myself, the pesto crust works really well with lamb. This recipe does however require a tad more time and effort, but its ooh so worthwhile in the end.
Ingredients Pesto Crusted Lamb Medallions
  1. Lamb Chops (8)
  2. Pesto (2T)
  3. Parmagiano Reggiano (1T)
  4. Bread (1 slice)
  5. Garlic (0.5 bulb = 6 cloves) 
  6. Fennel Seeds (2T)
  7. Mint Leaves (1T)
  8. Rosemary (1T)
  9. Thyme (1T)
  10. Cognac (2T)
  11. Woustershire Sauce
  12. Dijon Mustard
  13. Misc Vegetables 

Preparation – Earlier in the Day

Buy the type of lamb chop which has some meat clinging to the rib end of the bone. Cut each chop into three parts:

    • The first part is the round meaty eye, which will become your medallions (chopping board, left). Make sure you trim away most of the white bits as you won’t be cooking the medallion too long.
    • The second part is the flank, basically the fleshy portion around the long end of the bone (chopping board, right). You can leave the white bits on for these cuts.Lamb Chops Deboned
    • The third part will be the trimmings (on the plate), basically the bone and chunks of fat and connective tissue.
  1. Marinate the medallion and flank pieces in 2T olive oil, 1T cognac, 1T thyme, 1T fennel seeds, 0.5t salt, a pinch of sugar and a dash of woustershire sauce. Lamb is one of the more gamey meats and you should marinate it for a minimum of four hours.
  2. Boil the trimmings in a pot, with just enough water to cover everything. Add to the pot, 1T mint leaves, 1T fennel seeds, 1T rosemary, 1T Cognac and 6 garlic cloves. Simmer with the cover on for a minimum of half an hour. Follow up by microwaving the meat and stock on high power, covered, for 3×3 = 9 minutes, allowing the meat to cool between cycles.
  3. Leave a piece of bread uncovered in the fridge to dry out.

Preparation – Before the Meal 

  1. Cut the piece of bread into little cubes. Toast the cubes into croutons and smash them in a zip-loc bag with the flat end of a meat mallet or rolling pin to produce some fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix 2T of these breadcrumbs, with 2T of pesto and 1T of finely grated Parmagiano Reggiano. This will form the pesto crust.
  3. Pick out the marinated flank portions and pan fry these on low heat with a spot of oil till they are nicley browned. These bits have to be fried as they take much longer to become tender.
  4. Set aside the flank pieces, leaving the pan unwashed. Pour the lamb stock Lamb Medallions ready to Grillthrough a strainer into the same pan. Boil the stock down until it becomes a thick sauce. Take the opportunity to cook any vegetables you would like to serve with your lamb medallions in the stock as it is thickened. Examples include baby corn, baby carrots or peeled shallots. 
  5. When the sauce has thickend, remove the vegetables and stir in one t of dijon mustard. Taste and add salt as required – only at the end.
  6. In the meanwhile, spoon the pesto mixture onto the lamb medallions. Its alright for the crust to be thick so use up all of the mixture you made.
  7. Oil a baking tray and preheat it. Arrange the medallions in the middle (you should hear a slight sizzle) and then the pre-cooked flank pieces around the edges (as per photo on the right). Cook in a preheated toaster oven (heat on top and bottom) for about 7 minutes, or until the pesto crust begins to bubble and harden.
  8. Spoon the sauce onto the serving plate first, followed by the lamb and finally the vegetables. 


  • You have a couple of options regarding the bones. The lamb reduction sauce is very good as it contains all the tastes you normally associate with lamb but can’t apply because of the pesto crust: mint, garlic, rosemary, mustard etc. If you really can’t bother with the sauce, just throw the bones away and use the drippings from the medallions as ‘jus’. Alternatively, you can boil the stock as per above but serve it (still strained) as a mutton broth to go with the medallions.
  • I used a toaster oven because it gives just the right heat to form the crust without overcooking the lamb. If you are making portions for more than 2, you can just use the grill in your oven. 
  • The microwaving helps melt the remaining fat and connective tissue. If you don’t own a microwave, then you’ll just have to simmer the lamb bones old style for a long time, until the gelatine is released.
  • FYI. I grilled the tomatoes with cheese topping seperately. Those were not cooked in the sauce pan with the baby corn.
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Italian, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat


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Oxtail Braised in Red Wine

(serves 4)
Oxtail is loaded with gelatinous cartilage and tendon, making it the ideal cut of beef to interact with the tannin in red wine. It’s a pairing made in heaven. When braised sufficiently, the meat neutralizes the astringent bitterness of the wine, the wine at the same time tenderizes and flavours the meat. Add some common vegetables into the mix and what you get is the tenderest, tastiest morsels of beef you have ever eaten.
  1. Oxtail (1kg)
  2. Large Carrots (2)
  3. Onions (2)
  4. Red Shallots (12)
  5. Garlic (1 bulb = 12 cloves) 
  6. Brown Mushrooms (150g)
  7. Red Wine(1-1/4 cups)
  8. Cloves (6)
  9. Bay Leaves (5)
  10. Oxo Beef Cubes (2)
  11. Campbell’s Oxtail Soup (1 can)
  12. Woustershire Sauce
  13. Mustard 


  1. If there is connective tissue (white stuff) left on the outside of your oxtail, cut some slits parallel to the bone in these areas to expose the meat beneath. Place the oxtail in a deep pot which has 2 times as much internal volume as the meat. Top off the pot with boiling water until the meat is just covered, add 1-1/4 cups of red wine and bring to a boil. Use a fuller wine, i.e. preferably not Pinot Noir / Burgundy.
  2. Add the can of oxtail soup, 6 bay leaves, 6 cloves, 2 Oxo cubes and 2T woustershire sauce. Keep on a low simmer for about 3 hours. You don’t have to have the fire on the entire time if you don’t want to. I usually just simmer for 15 minutes and leave the pot covered for 45 minutes, three times.
  3. Slice your carrots into thick discs, each onion into 8 wedges, and each mushroom into 4 (or 2 if they are small). Peel the garlic and shallots but leave them whole.
  4. Fish out the oxtail into a deep casserole with a quarter of the liquid. Discard the bay leaves and cloves. Throw all the vegetables into the remaining oxtail soup in the pot and keep on a low simmer for 1 hour.
  5. In the meanwhile, microwave the meat on high, covered for 3×3 = 9 minutes. Before you start and every 3 minutes thereafter, roll the oxtail around to keep them moist.
  6. After the oxtail pieces have cooled, strip the meat from the bone. It should come off easily without any cutting. If not, send it back to the microwave. Keep the meat morsels drenched in the drippings to prevent them from drying out. With 10 minutes to go on the vegetable simmer, return the meat (and drippings) to the pot.
  7. For taste, add 1T sugar, 1t mustard and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Finally add salt incrementally until the sweet taste from the sugar is masked. This varies with each person’s tastes so I won’t suggest an exact amount. 


  • I bet you’re thinking…hmmm if I want to complicate things and put the veggies in before I take out the meat, I can save quite some time. Yes that’s true. 
  • The microwaving helps melt the remaining fat and connective tissue. If you don’t have a microwave, then you’ll have to roast the oxtail in the oven – before putting them to boil in the pot. This is the traditional way of doing it but I prefer the microwave method as it is more convenient.
  • This is not oxtail in a red wine reduction, but it is similar. If you want to cook a wine reduction version, follow the above recipe but…
    • skip the can of soup
    • skip the onions
    • skip the mustard 
    • reduce the Oxo cubes to 1
    • at the end, fish out the veggies (to be served on the side) and reduce the liquid to concentrate it.
  • Other cuts of meat suitable for this recipe are beef ribs, brisket and cheek.
  • If you like love oxtail but not the taste of wine, try my Scottish Oxtail Stew recipe instead. 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in French, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat


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