JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, March 16, 2009

What I did with leftover oxtail stew

I read in the paper this weekend that people have forgotten how to cook with leftovers, so I thought I'd blog about how to squeeze an extra meal out of the remains of an oxtail stew. It meant that I got a second meal for three out of the oxtail (just as well, as these days it's significantly more expensive than braising steak). This works because oxtail gravy is about as meaty as gravy comes.

Oxtail is well suited to this treatment: there's always a lot of gravy because of the need to cover the big bones. But second time around there's not much meat, so you'll need to find some "meaty" vegetables to take its place. Mushrooms are a must, and I also used the last blue squash in the larder. (You could, at a pinch, use a well flavoured gravy, providing there were plenty of vegetables.)

We ate this for lunch yesterday, sitting in the garden - this wintry meal was perfect for our first al fresco meal of the year in the weak spring sunshine.

Something special with oxtail leftovers

Meat and gravy
other vegetables to roast - squash, carrots, parsnips, etc

Strip the meat off any remaining oxtail bones and set aside. Next, enrich the gravy as if you were making stock - boil up the bones in it for an hour or so, adding extra water if necessary, even some fresh vegetables. Strain this mixture. You can do all this a day or two in advance, so that you're not eating oxtail two days in a row. This will also mean that you can scrape away the fat which will have risen to the top.

Braise some mushrooms in a little stock or wine. Roast some onions and any other vegetables you have - I used the last squash in my larder, a lovely blue one, and chopped a great deal of thyme onto the roasting tin. When the vegetables are ready, layer them into a heavy casserole dish with the scrapings of meat, then add the gravy, which will probably have jellified. Heat through - in the oven if it's on anyway, or slowly on the hob.


Ed Bruske said...

great idea, Joanna, adding the vegetables. makes tremendous sense

Magic Cochin said...

I'm the Queen of Leftovers ;-)

Your lunch sounds delicious.


Joy said...

It's such a small blogging world isn't it? As great as the Miele ovens are, they still don't have the charm of your range!

David Hall said...

I always use leftovers. I'm impressed with your ideas Joanna. Lovely. And great to see. Cheers David

Eco Gites of Lenault said...

Some of my best meals have been made from left-overs..... and some of my worst!! Tonight I'm doing something with the gravy left over from a chicken stew. Not quite sure what yet but it better be warming seeing how the weather has turned wet and miserable.

Rosie x

Eco Gites of Lenault said...

Well it turne out that a quick peek inside the fridge yielded the gravy, a bit of chorizo and some purple sprouted broccoli. I added the chorizo to the sausage, cooked the PSB and served the 2 in a large Yorkshire pudding. Yum!

Rosie x

Joanna said...

Rosie that sounds great - I always forget about putting gravy-y leftovers into a Yorkshire pud ... I just love the idea of using gravy as the basis for a meal which is largely vegetable (although not vegetarian).


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

You could always pop a pastry top on it all, too!

Great stuff. I'm so glad to see oxtail making a comeback. It was a real staple of winter in my early childhood.