Peel and cut onions into large wedges, try keeping at least one point intact so they don't fall apart when cooking.
Peel and dice potatoes and sweet potatoes (portions of vegetables to your liking). Thought ... 💭My advice is to boil the potatoes in a separate pot and add to oxtail near the end of cooking time.
Prepare any additional vegetables you wish to add to the stew. Try to cut all vegetables approximately the same size.
Dust the oxtail in flour and fry in a pan on the stove to brown the meat - do it in small batches so there is space between the pieces ... You don't want the meat to boil.
When all the oxtail meat has been browned place in the slow cooker or oven dish. If doing in the oven it will be cooked for several hours at low temperature in a covered dish.
In the same pan you used to brown the meat, add a little oil and fry the onions. You want a good colour on the onions but caution not to burn them.
Chefs note 😎 if you want onions to caramelize - add a little sugar. If you want them to soften but not go brown easily - add salt, it draws out the juices.
Always ALWAYS A L W A Y S have a good wine on hand to drink while cooking, to use in the cooking and of course to enjoy with your meal 😋
Chop up the garlic into small pieces ( we added some chili ... Optional)
Chili can add tremendous flavour and not be too hot if you remove the seeds. Chili is however not often added with stews or oxtail
Place the browned onions in with the meat, add chopped garlic and chili.
Place a few bay leaves and some sprigs of thyme or any aromatics of your choice. If you want to add rosemary rather add it towards the end of cooking.
Add your sweet potato and carrots (can add potatoes or start to boil them in a separate pot)
Add all the additional vegetables you have prepared.
Pour in your favorite brand of tinned tomatoes. You can of course add fresh chopped tomatoes.
Spices are next - any of your favorite! We have added an oxtail mix, Robison's paprika, steak and chops and a little turmeric.
Next mix up two heaped teaspoons of corn flour with half a cup of COLD water and add it to beef or vegetable stock, pour over your ingredients.
The cornflour will thicken the stew. (It is because of this that I prefer to cook the potatoes in a separate pot of water - they cook quicker and have a better texture).
The amount of stock / liquid you add is up to you. It should cover all the vegetables if you intend to put a lid on and just leave it for a few hour unattended.
You can add less liquid if you are going to check on the dish periodically, just top up as needed. Place dish in oven or switch on slow cooker and relax for at least the next 4 hours ...
The meat and vegetables will break down in the cooking process and should be beautifully tender when ready. Just before it is done add your potatoes and rosemary. Check salt adjust as needed.
Dish up and enjoy with that oh so perfect bottle of wine and your someone special! Of course we baked some home made bread to serve with the stew ..... Perfect. 💋