Sandton Convention Centre is the proud home of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz. In celebration of the 21st Joy of Jazz, Sandton Convention Centre’s Executive Chef, James Khoza has jazzed up some distinctly South African recipes. Here, we feature his recipe for South African Oxtail with a Jazzy Twist – oxtail is served both breaded and wrapped in phyllo.

South African Oxtail with a Jazzy Twist
Yields: 4 portions

This recipe has been broken down into steps – it’s simple and well worth the effort.

Step One

80ml sunflower oil
1kg oxtail
1/3 cup flour
Salt and pepper
1 medium or 150g onion
3 medium or 200g carrots
1 large or 120g leeks
1 piece or 60g celery
3 large garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
2 or 220g tomatoes
2 litres of beef stock

  • Add butter and oil to a heated heavy based pot. Dust the oxtail pieces with flour, salt and pepper mixture. Pan sear the oxtail. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Sauté the onions in the same pot. Once caramelised, add carrots, leeks, celery, garlic and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until all ingredients are just cooked through.
  • Add with tomatoes, red wine and the first beef stock amount of 500ml, together with the oxtail pieces. Cook on low heat to allow for a light simmering. Add more stock when the first amount has reduced to the point of not covering the meat. Continue simmering for eight hours, gently stirring occasionally. Cook until meat falls off the bone (use a fork to test).
  • Cool down and remove now the oxtail meat from the sauce and debone. Chill the deboned meat in the fridge (remember to cover with cling film so that it does not dry out). Reserve the bones and the liquid (stock).

Step Two

1 onion (80g), chopped brunoise
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
5ml sweet mixed spice
50g carrot, chopped brunoise
50g celery, chopped brunoise
50g butter, diced
20ml sunflower oil
Reserved liquid from Oxtail
Salt and pepper

  • In a pot, reduce the oxtail stock with the bones to a syrupy consistency. Strain the liquid through a chinois (fine conical sieve) or mutton cloth. Reserve the strained stock.
  • Add butter and oil to a hot pan. Heat until it starts to smoke. Add the sweet spices, cook for a minute stirring frivolously. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the last vegetables and cook for three minutes.
  • Add the reserved strained stock. Simmer for five minutes.
  • Lastly add the deboned oxtail meat. Gently stir continuously without breaking the meat. Cook until liquid is about half to the meat.
  • Remove from heat a pout into a small rectangular dish (use a terrine mould if you have one) and cover with cling film. Put in the fridge to set.

Step Three

The oxtail will be served in two unusual ways: wrapped in phyllo pastry and breaded

Phyllo-Wrapped Oxtail

Half the oxtail meat
2 phyllo pastry sheets
15g flour
30ml water
200ml sunflower oil
Salt and pepper

  • Mix water with the flour to make a paste.
  • Cut phyllo half vertically.
  • As you would roll a samoosa, start at one end of the phyllo pastry, put the cut oxtail on it. Roll following the shape, making sure the meat is covered completely. Seal with the flour paste. Put in plastic container and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place the oil in a small deep pot. Heat to 177 degrees Celsius. Deep fry each oxtail parcel individually until golden but not burnt. Place on paper towel to drain and keep warm.

Breaded Oxtail:

Half the oxtail meat
200g flour
8 eggs, beaten
200g bread crumbs
100g parsley, chopped
200ml sunflower oil
Salt and pepper

  • You will need to create a ‘breading production line’ by filling three bowls – one with flour; one with eggs; and one with breadcrumbs mixed with parsley
  • In the above order of ingredients, place each of your cut oxtail portions in the flour; eggs, and bread crumb mix
  • Put the breaded oxtail in the fridge for 30min
  • Place the oil in a deep small pot. Heat up to 177 degrees Celsius. Deep fry each oxtail portion individually until golden but not burnt

Step Four

1 onion (100g), chopped brunoise
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
100g butter, diced
20ml sunflower oil
80g parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
100g cooked couscous, place in a bowl and pour over boiling chicken stock, cover with cling film and let it bloom for 20 minutes)

  • In a hot pan, heat up the butter and oil. Sauté the garlic and onion until golden. Add the cauliflower, again sauté until golden.
  • Fluff the bloomed couscous with a fork to loosen it and add to the onion and cauliflower mixture. Cook for five minutes.
  • Add seasoning and finish off with parsley.
  • Divide the couscous into 4 bowls, top with oxtail and serve.

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