Queue de Boeuf Bourguignon

Here’s our Queue de Boeuf (ox tail) Bourguignon recipe (pared down for about 4 people)…

For a kilo of ox tail (or 2+ good pieces per person)

For the marinade:
1 bottle of red burgundy (at the moment I’m using some Paul Court Bourgogne Grande Reserve N.V. from the early ’70s, but any decent red burg will do)
1 large onion sliced
2 carrots sliced thickly
2 sticks of celery sliced
2 or 3 large cloves of garlic (somewhere between bruised and smashed)
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns (whole)

For the garnish:
Olive oil
100g of lightly smoked lardons
A Dozen-or-so peeled, whole shallots
200g of button mushrooms
Some lightly toasted, sliced French bread with a little garlic made into ‘croutes’
Lots of flat-leaf parsley


Trim the meat of excess fat

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and drown everything in the wine

Leave for at least a few hours or overnight if possible (turn the meat if you get the chance, otherwise don’t worry)

Take the meat chunks out of the marinade and dry it with paper towels

Sieve the marinade mixture, separating the vegetables from the liquid.

Fry the meat in a thick-bottomed or non-stick pan (don’t overcrowd it) on a high heat with olive oil until very well browned

Flambée each batch of meat in the pan with a slug of Marc de Bourgogne or brandy and set aside

When all the meat is browned, deglaze the pan with a little of the marinade and pour the this onto the meat that you have set aside

Melt some butter in the pan, add the marinade vegetables and fry gently until softened with a bit of colour

Add the meat chunks and cover with the liquid.

Add water or veal/beef/vegetable stock (use a stock cube if you like) if there’s not enough liquid to cover the meat

Cover and simmer ‘on a blip’ (on the lowest setting) for at least 2-3 hours, but test the meat with a skewer after a couple of hours

Fry the lardons in a little olive oil until brown. Reserve the fat and sauté the shallots (leave the twirly top bits on) and the button mushrooms (sliced in half it they’re big)

Add the lardons, shallots and mushrooms to the pot and cook for a further 30 mins (add salt and pepper to taste)

You can also add a little beurre manié to thicken at the end of the cooking

Serve either from the casserole or dished-up with plenty of freshly-chopped parsley, garlic croutes and macaroni pasta or boiled or puréed potatoes

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