Recipe: Oxtail pie

By admin
20 July 2010

Serves 8

Preparation time: 45 min

Standing time: overnight (crust)

Chilling time: 30 min

Cooking time: 3 hours 35 min

60 ml (¼ c) cake flour

salt and pepper

2 kg oxtail, cut into pieces at the joints

100 ml oil

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

200 g smoked bacon, chopped

250 ml (1 c) dry red wine

4 sprigs of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

4 sprigs of parsley

2 bay leaves

750 ml (3 c) beef stock

80 ml (j/× c) tomato paste

1 quantity hot-water pastry (see recipe)

1 packet (250 g) pitted prunes (optional)

1 egg, whisked

Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Add the oxtail pieces and shake well to coat with the flour mixture. Heat 80 ml (j/× c) of the oil in a large pan and brown the oxtail in batches. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan or pressure cooker and stir-fry the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and bacon until lightly browned. Add the wine and simmer uncovered to reduce the liquid by half.

Tie the herbs and bay leaves together with string and add to the vegetable mixture. Add the stock, tomato paste and oxtail, stirring well to mix. Cover and cook for 3 hours (90 minutes if pressure-cooking) or until the meat is soft and comes off the bone. Remove the herbs and leave the meat to cool.

Grease a large ovenproof dish. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line only the base of the greased dish. Skim the fat from the meat and remove the bones. Add the prunes to the meat mixture and spoon it into the pastry-lined dish. Cut out another piece of pastry to cover the filling, place on top and brush with the egg.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200 °C. Bake the pie for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180 °C and bake for another 20 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden.


Hot-water pastry contains less butter or margarine, making it less flaky. The layers are slightly thicker and the pastry doesn’t rise as much as puff pastry.

500 ml (2 c) cake flour

2 ml (½ t) salt

250 g ice-cold butter, grated

1 egg yolk

5 ml (1 t) ice-cold water

5 ml (1 t) lemon juice

125 ml (½ c) boiling water

Sift together the flour and salt in thin layers, alternating with layers of grated butter to distribute the flour and butter evenly. Whisk together the egg yolk and ice-cold water and sprinkle over the flour mixture. Rub in gently with your fingers. Add the lemon juice to the boiling water and rapidly cut into the flour mixture to form a slack pastry. Leave the pastry to rest in the fridge overnight.

Roll out to a thickness of 5 mm on a floured surface. Fold into thirds and leave to cool again. Roll out gently and use as needed.

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