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Cooking with Beef
Slow Braised Pinotage, Muscadel & Secret Ingredient Oxtail

Slow Braised Pinotage, Muscadel & Secret Ingredient Oxtail

Pinotage Chocolate Braised Oxail

Winter is approaching, and when you get those lovely cold and rainy days, you feel like something that is comforting. You know, that kind which brings you a satisfying happiness that reaches deep down in the soul. What could be more soul comforting, than an slow braised oxtail stew, especially one that has been slow braised in red wine?  My recipe has a secret ingredient which transforms this dish, taking it to another level. Do you want to know what it is? Dark Chocolate! Yes my friends, you heard me, adding dark chocolate to this recipe adds an extra depth of flavour and richness. Don’t worry, your oxtail will not taste anything of chocolate, it just helps to elevate the flavours of the Pinotage and the rich oxtail stew.

You can play around with some of the flavours, you could use Lindt Dark Chocolate with a Touch of Sea Salt , or Dark Chocolate and Chili. I just bought a small slab of 80% Lindt Excellence dark chocolate. If I am not mistaken I put in 3 blocks, for some strange reason a block did appear magically into my mouth. I had to taste and make sure the chocolate pass the quality test. There is nothing more off-putting than chocolate that has gone off! 😉

Pinotage, Muscadel Chocolate Oxtail

My wine of choice in this recipe was to use  Alvi’s Drift Pinotage. The reason being was that I liked the sound of what it said on the back label.

The wine has a strong, medium dark color with a garnet hue. The bouquet and palate are filled with juicy, ripe berry characters with mulberry and blackberry dominating. The tannin structure is well balanced with the oak and fruit. Subtle vanilla oak is integrated with hints of chocolate and dark cherries.

I was looking for a wine that was not to harsh on the tannins, and as I know, I would be experimenting with chocolate I wanted something that would compliment. As I was using tomato puree and tinned cherry tomatoes, I needed a little sweetness, this is where the muscadel comes in. You might be thinking that this dish might be too sweet, well surprisingly, it was not. It was actually well balanced!

This recipe can easily be done in the slow cooker or even better on the fire in a potjiepot. The slower it cooks, the more tender the meat and more intense flavour. I cooked this oxtail for 3 hours, as I was in a hurry. The meat was cooked tender but I did feel it could have spent an extra hour in the oven for the flavours to develop further.

Enough of my yakking – I am sure you are wanting the recipe! Hope you enjoyed it, and if you tried a recipe please feel free to share your comments. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up to my blog so you don’t miss another boozy recipe.

Happy eating!

Serves 2

Pinotage, Red Muscadel and a Secret Ingredient Oxtail Stew

There is nothing more comforting on a cold raining day is a rich oxtail stew. This one contains red wine, muscadel and a secret ingredient that compliments the Pinotage used in this recipe. Hope you enjoy this one!

15 minPrep Time

4 hrCook Time

4 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 50g Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Chorizo Sausage (sliced)
  • 1 Packet of Knorr Rich Oxtail Soup
  • 500ml Beef stock
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 Celery stalk (finely diced)
  • 2 Leeks finely sliced
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 2 Carrots (peeled and chopped roughly)
  • 2 Potatoes (chopped roughly)
  • 250g Brown mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 Tin of whole cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Small tin of tomato puree
  • 500ml Pinotage Wine
  • 125ml Red Muscadel
  • 35g Dark Chocolate (try to get 80% or more)
  • 10ml Brown Sugar
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Bouquet Garni


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Wipe the oxtail dry with a paper towel.
  3. Add the Knorr Rich Oxtail Soup seasoning in a resealable plastic bag, add the Oxtail to the seasoned mix and shake to coat.
  4. Heat the butter and olive oil in a cast iron pot and sauté the sliced chorizo.
  5. Remove the chorizo, add the oxtail to the pot and brown in the flavoured chorizo oil. When each oxtail piece is nicely coloured all over, remove and drain on paper towels.
  6. Add the garlic, leeks, onion and celery to the pot and saute until translucent, just starting to soften.
  7. Return the chorizo and oxtail to the pot.
  8. Make up a bouquet garni and add to the pot along with the bay leaves, freshly ground peppercorns, tomato paste, beef stock, tin of cherry tomatoes, red wine, chocolate and the muscadel.
  9. Bring slowly to the boil.
  10. Cover tightly with a lid, and put in the oven, allow to cook undisturbed for 4 hours.
  11. One hour before serving, add the remaining vegetables like the carrots, potatoes and mushrooms.
  12. Taste, and adjust seasoning according to taste.
  13. Continue to cooking slowly, without stirring.
  14. After four hours the meat will be falling off the bone with a rich dark and intense sauce.
  15. Serve with mash, rice, mielie-pap, polenta, or a delicious bread to soak up all that lovely sauce.


You can use a potjie pot or a dutch oven pot. Instead of adding chopped onions, use 10 pickling onions (peeled and keeping them whole) The fresh herbs I used to make up my "Bouquet Garni": 2 Sprigs of Rosemary, 4 Sprigs of Thyme, Fresh Parsley and a few Sage Leaves. Remember one block of chocolate goes to the Cook!



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