Oxtail Terrine

Terrine de Queue de Boeuf
Oxtail Terrine

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1.5 kg oxtail pieces
3 large carrots, 2 celery stalks with green bits, 1 onion, 1 leek, all coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250 ml dry white wine (or red ok too)
1 tbsp Maldon sea salt, plus more for later
A small bunch of parsley, a few sprigs of thyme and 2 bay leafs, tied in a bundle with twine
A few black peppercorns
2 tablespoons drained capers
French cornichons and grated horseradish, to serve

Day 1: Heat the oil in a stockpot (one that you can fit into your fridge later on). When hot but not smoking add the oxtail and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add the chopped vegetables, except the garlic, to the pot, stir well to coat with the fat and cook until coloured.

Return the oxtail and add the garlic and wine, then just enough water to cover everything. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer very gently until the meat is falling off the bone, 3-4 hours. Let cool completely, then transfer the whole thing, meat and broth to the fridge and chill overnight. This is the first stage of the marinade and it also makes it easier to degrease the next day.

Day 2: The next day, remove from the fridge and spoon all the fat off the top. Take out the oxtail pieces and get the meat off the bone, using your fingers or a fork or something. Just don’t hurt yourself. As little fat as possible, this should be lean meat.

Return the meat to the pot, with the capers and put back on the stove to return to the boil. Taste and adjust seasoning; it will be served cold and so needs to be well seasoned.

At this point, you can either make one big terrine, using a loaf pan lined with cling film or baking paper, or use individual ramekins. I prefer the individual route, each one makes a portion and it is much neater for serving. Turning out the single terrine doesn’t always work for me. You need 8-12ish ramekins.

Transfer the meat and vegetables to the chosen container(s). Press down really well to squash it all in, then pour some of the cooking broth over to fill just to the top. Cover and refrigerate until chilled; if using a single loaf tin, add a few heavy tins or something on top at this point to help weight it and press down. I don’t do this for the ramekins since I don’t turn them out. Then return to the fridge and leave about 24 hours. Serve chilled.

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