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Covid-19 stay-home recipe: Flavoursome oxtail stew

At a loss as to what to cook today? Fret not. In this daily series, STFood Online Editor Hedy Khoo features nourishing recipes you can whip up

Hedy Khoo on 10 Jun 2020

The Straits Times


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Relish this flavour powerhouse of an oxtail stew that is a breeze to cook.


Most home cooks have at least one stew in their repertoire. If you are looking to refresh your list of signature dishes, this is one recipe to add to your collection.


For novice cooks, oxtail stew could be just the dish to boost your confidence as you embark on your personal culinary journey.


Why are stews great for the home cook? They are easy to cook and they taste even better when kept overnight. How difficult can it be to throw everything in a pot?


But one secret to a truly tasty stew is to brown the meat before stewing. Placing the meat in a sizzling hot pan creates those deep flavours that go towards making your dish a success.


I love the rich gelatinous texture of oxtail, which gives a slight gumminess to the stew.


Instead of flour, I used diced tomato to thicken the stew. This keeps it clean tasting and staves off that "jelak" (cloying) feeling one can get with rich stews.


Do not underestimate the power of daikon. This plain-looking member of the radish family can impart a rich depth to your stew while saving you the hassle of using meat stock.


A simple mix of spices such as star anise, clove, a cinnamon stick and black pepper keeps strong meaty odours in check.


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  • 30g butter
  • 800g oxtail, cut into five large pieces
  • 40g ginger, halved and bruised
  • 100g whole garlic cloves (with skin on), lightly bruised
  • 1 large red onion (200g), sectioned
  • 2 carrots (220g), cut into 3.5cm pieces
  • 1 medium-sized daikon (580g), cut into 3.5cm thick rounds
  • 3 tomatoes (450g), diced
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 3 Tbs light soya sauce
  • 3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100g bunashimeiji mushroom, base removed
  • 1 stalk of Chinese celery, sliced




1. Add the butter into the pot over medium heat. As the butter begins to melt and sizzle, add the oxtail and fry for 8 minutes, turning over each piece of oxtail at intervals to ensure all sides are browned.


2. Add the ginger and garlic cloves. Fry for 2 minutes until aromatic.


3. Add the onion and fry for 1 minute.


4. Add the carrots and fry for 1 minute.


5. Add the daikon and pour the water into the pot.


6. Add the diced tomato and season with light soya sauce and Worcestershire sauce.


7. Add in the star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and coarse black pepper.


8. Season with salt and stir.


9. Cover and simmer on low heat for 2hr 20 min.


10. Add the bunashimeiji mushroom into the pot and simmer for 3 minutes until tender.


11. Transfer oxtail stew into serving dish and garnish with Chinese celery.


Makes five servings.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.



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