Food & Wine

Oxtail stew with polenta balls

Oxtail stew with polenta balls

Bring the family together and indulge in an oxtail stew with polenta balls.

Oxtail stew is always delicious. Now imagine it with polenta balls…Yummy!


– Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

– ¼ cup cake flour

– 1,2kg trimmed fat oxtail

– 2 tbsp olive/avocado oil

– 2 finely chopped garlic cloves

– 1 red onion, chopped

– 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

– 1 tsp chopped fresh sage

– 1 cup red wine

– 2 cups water

– 1 tsp sugar

– ½ cup tomato purée

– Juice and zest of 1 orange

– 1,5 cups polenta

– Fresh basil (garnish)


  1. Season the flour well then toss and coat the oxtail with it and shake off any excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep ovenproof casserole pan on the stove. Brown the oxtail on all sides then remove it from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the garlic, onion and herbs to the casserole pan and brown lightly then pour in the wine, water, tomato purée, sugar, orange juice and zest. Stir until it begins to simmer.
  4. Return the oxtail to the pan then cover and reduce the heat. Cook over low heat for two hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  6. Skim the fat off the top of the stew and bake in the oven for a further two hours.
  7. Bring six cups of water seasoned with salt to a boil just before the end of the two hours. Pour in the polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened and pour into a baking tray to cool. When cooled down, roll into 16 small balls.
  8. Remove the stew from the oven and place the polenta balls on top. Return to the oven and bake uncovered until the oxtail is falling off the bone and the polenta balls are slightly browned for an additional 45 minutes.

Serve while hot and garnished with basil.


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