Beef baked with Yoghurt and Black Pepper

Posted By Kerri

I might have mentioned that we have quite a lot of meat to get through this week. A combination of having a freezer the size of a shoe-box and wanting to use as much of the meat while it’s at it’s best (i.e. unfrozen) meant that tonight we opted to use the oxtail – try as I might, there was no way I was going to cram that in to the freezer amongst the frozen peas and fishfingers.

Looking back through the archives, I saw that the last time we (well, Stephen actually) cooked oxtail was in a brilliant Thai-style soup. The next stop was obviously Indian-style so out came Madhur Jaffrey. I briefly considered rogan josh but that was far too complicated for a school night, this was the next best thing.

The original recipe calls for diced stewing beef so I adapted the cooking time to take into account the long, slow braising that oxtail requires and ended up cooking this for a total of 4.5 hours (over two nights). While the end result was reasonably tender meat, I think it would have benefited from an even longer cooking time.

Stephen said he enjoyed it but I could detect a bitter note which I found off-putting. While this was simpler than the rogan josh, it still required a fair amount of browning and simmering and cooking and reducing and I was a bit fed up with the whole thing by the time it came to eat it anyway. It’s a good job Stephen didn’t feel the same way because there’s plenty left over and, with no space in the freezer, it’s the same again tomorrow night.

Beef baked with Yoghurt and Black Pepper
Serves Four

Vegetable oil (for browning)
1 oxtail, jointed (extra points if you do this yourself)
3 onions, chopped (MJ always specifies onions in grams which I find infuriating, this looked about right)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger (I used fresh, about an inch)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
300ml natural yoghurt

Start by browning the meat and then removing to a plate.

In the same pan, cook the onions, garlic and ginger until brown – about 10 minutes.

Add the spices and stir to incorporate, return the meat to the pan, add the yoghurt and stir.

Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2.5 hours.

(I did all of this on Monday night and then left it to cool overnight. The following night, I brought it back to the boil on the hob, added some water to ensure the meat was covered and simmered for a further 2 hours. At this point, I took the meat off the bone and returned it to the sauce. An extra hour of cooking here would have helped tenderise the meat).

Mar 2nd, 2010

3 Comments to 'Beef baked with Yoghurt and Black Pepper'

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  1. Brian said,

    Hi Kerri
    I look forward to reading your stories of cooking and eating. I think the bitter note you detcted may well be due to the long cooking of the spices. I have found that the flavour of many spices is enhanced by adding at the last minute and just cooking through.
    The flavour is in the juice so it coats all the meat as you eat it.

  2. Katie said,

    Looks delicious – I love the contrast between the colours of the white rice and the lovely rich brown meat, yum!
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..My Amazing Magic Bean! =-.

  3. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Brian. That makes sense and probably goes some way to explain whey recipes often add fresh herbs at the end of the cooking time.

    Thansk, Katie 🙂

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