I`m a a big fan of offal and will eat almost anything. So when I saw some oxtail for sale I thought it would be the perfect partner my my new slow cooker.

I love the idea of nose to tail dining wasting as little of the animal as possible. I think it also links in with my adventurous side which likes to go off the beaten track steering away from the obvious populous choices.

When it comes to offal I think I have tried most things.... heart, kidney, liver, black pudding, cheek, and now oxtail (I've yet to try trotters but I believe that they are wonderful braised in red wine). A friend of mine also once got a pigs head from the butcher, boiled it and separated the meat to make braun which is a course pate.

The picture above is the stew before cooking. Unfortunately in the excitement of getting home I forgot to take a picture and jumped straight into it. Suffice to say that with some crusty bread it was most delicious and deserved a second helping.

I`m a big fan of stews, probably because they are so simple. Take a pan, add a load of vegatables, stock, herbs, perhaps red wine, cook for a few hours and job done! Delicious stew. 

Here's the 'how to' bit

Firstly I dusted the oxtail cuts in plain flour, salt and pepper. A good tip I picked up on a cooking site is to put the flour and other ingredients in a sandwich bag and then add the meat and jumble it about. Way better than my normal way of putting flour in a bowl and then seeing how far around the kitchen work top I can redistribute it.

The cuts were then fried in a pan as shown above until they were nicely browned. This will only take about 2-5 mins on a medium heat.

Then it was just a question of chopping carrots, leeks, onions and potatoes into large chunks and adding to the slow cooker with stock and some rosemary and thyme and then popping on the slow cooker for 8 hours. I could also have added red wine or ale or a host of other ingredients. Thats the beauty of stews you can lob in what ever you have and fancy.

If you dont have a slow cooker then this could easily be cooked in a casserole pot in the oven or maybe perhaps on the hob if you have a pan with a good fitting lid.