With a sharp knife, remove all fatty bits from the ox tail
pieces. Set aside.
Finely chop the parsley and set aside. Finely crush the garlic
cloves and set aside. With a potato peeler, peel the carrots. Cut off the
end bits and cut into bite pieces or to your preference. Fine chop the onion
and set aside.
In a saucepan with a heavy base large enough to contain all
the ingredients, heat up 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Put in some of
the ox tail pieces and fry on all sides until golden brown. Remove and place
on an oven grill in a tray, to drain the oil from the browned ox tail
pieces. Repeat with the remaining ox tail pieces.
Drain the oil from the saucepan, except for two tablespoons.
Heat on medium to high until the oil starts simmering. Fry the finely
chopped onion until it starts to caramelise, but not burning. Reduce heat to
low. Add the red wine, water, finely crushed garlic, fennel seeds, finely
chopped tomatoes, optional-sliced red chillies, carrot pieces, finely
chopped parsley and bay or kaffir lime leaves. Mix well together. Add the
browned ox tail pieces. Gently mix well together. Cover the saucepan.
Over low heat, allow the ox tail pieces to simmer with the red
wine and other ingredients for 2-3 hours. If you have a slow cooker, use it
as this enables you to control the cooking better. Check at regular
intervals to ensure that the sauce and ox tail pieces do not stick to the
bottom of the saucepan. Carefully move the ingredients around to ensure even
cooking. This is very necessary if you are using a saucepan. Watch the
progress at close intervals. Using a slow cooker will give you better
If the sauce dries up, add a little hot water or red wine to
prevent the ingredients from burning. Test the ox tail pieces to ensure that
these are thoroughly cooked and tender, falling off the bone. Add salt and
pepper to taste. Gently mix well together.
If the sauce is too liquid, dissolve one teaspoon of corn
flour in a little cold water. Add to the ingredients and gently mix well
together. Allow to simmer and the sauce to thicken. Use some more corn flour
in a little cold water, if the sauce does not thicken up. Be very careful
however. Too much corn flour will thicken the sauce too much.
Transfer to a warm serving dish and decorate with finely
Enjoy with rice or bread. A tomato chutney with chillies goes
really well when this dish is eaten with rice.
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