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! 😉
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.