Spanish Oxtail and Prunes

For a hearty warming meal, try Simon Rimmer's flavourful oxtail stew served with a tasty potato side-dish
By Simon Rimmer
Spanish Oxtail and Prunes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 15 mins soaking
  • Effort: easy



  • 1.5 kg oxtail, cut into 4cm long chunks
  • 2 onions, 1 peeled and studded with cloves, 1 sliced
  • black pepper
  • flour, for dusting
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 150 g lardons of bacon
  • 500 g prunes, soaked in sherry for 15 minutes then drained
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 ml beef stock
  • 200 ml Rioja wine
  • 3 large large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 x 410g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped


1. Place the ox-tail chunks and clove-studded onion in a large saucepan. Cover generously with water and season with salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

2. Drain the ox-tail chunks and pat dry. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground pepper. Roll the ox-tail chunks in the seasoned flour.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a casserole dish. Fry the ox-tail chunks for 15 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove the fried ox-tail chunks and keep warm.
4. Add the sliced onion to the casserole. Fry over low heat, stirring often, until softened, around 10 minutes.

5. Add the lardons, prunes, carrots, parsley (reserving half), thyme and bay leaf, herbs and prunes. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and then until the prunes begin to fall apart

6. Pour in the stock and Rioja wine and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

7. Add the browned ox-tail. Simmer for at least 25 minutes until the ox-tail is cooked through.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ÂșC/Gas 6.
9. Heat the remaining oil in a roasting tray until very hot. Add the potato chunks and roast for 20 minutes, stirring now and then, until golden brown.

10. Add the tinned tomatoes and garlic to the potatoes. Cook for a further 25 minutes. Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

11. Garnish the potatoes with the remaining parsley.

12. Serve the ox-tail with the potatoes.

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