Braised Oxtail with Ginger, and Five Spice

Cheaper cuts of meat and oxtails produce wonderful stews. This sticky, fragrant and beautifully rich meat dish melts in the mouth. The Chinese five spice in the dish perfectly marries with the sweet savoury tomato sauce. Try it with a puree of sweet potatoes. Fabulous!

Serves4 Origin Fusion
Preparation 10mins Heat rating (Medium)
Cooking 2-2 hrs (or 1-1 hrs with a pressure Ease (Average)
Vegetarian No


1 Tbsp Chinese five spice
1 tsp Ground Ginger
-1 tsp Crushed Bird's Eye Chilli
1kg oxtail cut into pieces
or 600-800g stewing beef cut into 5cm cubes
1 tbsp cooking oil
3 red onions finely sliced
3 garlic cloves
bunch of coriander chop the stems separately
2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 litre chicken stock
50ml fish sauce
50ml soy sauce
4 tbsps sugar or 5 tbsp maple syrup


Put the oxtail is a large pan and cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15mins, then pour off the water. Rinse the oxtails thoroughly under cold water and set aside to drain. If you are using stewing beef, heat a large casserole with 1 tbsp cooking oil and fry the beef in batches until golden brown. Remove to a dish.

Over a medium-heat add oil to the casserole (or pressure cooker) add the onions, garlic, ginger and chilli flakes, turn the heat low and sweat gently for 10mins. Add the coriander stems and five spice. Stir and cook for couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and simmer gently. Add the oxtails or the beef to the pan and cover and cook for 1 ½ hrs or until the oxtail is really soft and sticky or the beef is tender.

This would be the time to pressure cook for 45mins.

Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar or maple syrup. Turn up the heat and allow the gravy to thicken for about 20mins. Taste and adjust the seasonings to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice or rustic bread.

Adapted from a recipe by Skye Gyngell

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