Oxtail Casserole

This lovely, rich casserole is better made the day before, and it freezes beautifully.


  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 oxtails, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 carrots, quartered
  • 2 large onions, quartered
  • A bouquet garni
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups red Burgundy
  • 2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb slab bacon, cut into strips


Season the flour with mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Toss the oxtail pieces in the seasoned flour, then sauté them in a large pan in half of the butter with the carrots, onions, and bouquet garni until they are a good brown color. Moisten with the brandy and set it alight. When the flames die, add the garlic and mix well. Pour in the wine, mix again, and bring to a boil.

Transfer the casserole to a preheated oven at 325°F and cook for 2 hours.

Pour the contents of the casserole into a strainer set in a bowl. When the cooking liquid has strained into the bowl, set it aside to cool. Return the oxtail pieces to the casserole and discard the vegetables in the strainer.

In a sauté pan, gently sauté the mushrooms and bacon in the remaining butter, then add to the casserole with the oxtail.

Skim off any fat that has risen to the surface of the strained cooking liquid, then pour it into a saucepan. Boil to reduce it until it has the consistency of a light-bodied sauce. When the sauce is ready, pour it over the oxtail. Put the casserole on the stove and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover tightly and put into a preheated oven at 350°F to finish cooking for 2 hours.