A rich oxtail risotto with crunchy shallot crisps and a healthy sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
Start by seasoning the oxtail with salt and pepper, then sear on all sides in a large saucepan on high heat. Once nicely browned off, remove from the pan and add the chopped carrot, onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook for a few minutes to brown the veg slightly.
Add the beef stock to deglaze and return the oxtail to the pan. Make sure the oxtail is fully covered by the stock (top with water if necessary). Bring the pan to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently braise for roughly 3 hours or until the meat has started to fall away from the bone.
Take off the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes before removing the oxtail. Pick the oxtail from the bone and set to one side until ready to finish the risotto. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and keep the stock for cooking the risotto later. This can be done a day in advance.
To make the shallot crisps, heat up a small pan of vegetable oil to roughly 130/150°C. If you add a small shallot slice whilst heating the oil up, you’ll be able to see if the temperature is correct because you will notice a small amount of bubbling from the shallot.
Once the oil is hot enough, add the shallots. Try and maintain this temperature whilst cooking the crisps and keep them moving in the oil to avoid them sticking together. Once they have started to turn golden brown, carefully remove them from the oil onto some kitchen paper and season with table salt. Allow to cool well before serving – they’ll crisp up more in this time.
Sweat the shallot, garlic and thyme in a wide based pan with 20g of your diced butter and a glug of olive oil. Once the shallots have started to break down but have not taken on any colour, add the rice and cook for a further 2-3 minutes whilst constantly stirring to ensure the rice doesn’t stick.
Add the red wine and keep stirring every minute or so, until the wine has almost been absorbed by the rice. Start to add the oxtail stock, roughly 100ml at a time. The rice probably won’t need all 500ml of stock so check to see how the rice is cooked each time before you add more liquid.
Once the rice is cooked to your preference (this should take around 10-12 minutes, depending on the type of rice you’re using), remove from the heat. Add the picked oxtail, the remaining diced butter and grated parmesan. If you can, try and toss vigorously in the pan. This will help to emulsify the risotto and give it a creamy texture. You can just stir vigorously with a spoon if you’re not confident with this. Once the butter and parmesan are melted and incorporated into the rice, add the chopped parsley, then transfer to a serving plate, top with shallot crisps, freshly grated parmesan and serve.