Oxtails with Crushed Potatoes

Oxtails are really a winter dish, but the Spring in Denmark is changing daily from cold to warm, and then again back to cold. Yesterday was cold and I felt like eating som comfort food. The Danes would say that comfort food is HYGGE. Hygge time is also about enjoying the food, to focus on the moment and being in the moment. Hygge time is about providing a temporary shelter from the outside, the cold weather, eating food that reminds you of cozy times with family and friends. Eating some dishes that your mother or mother-in-law used to make. This dish takes about 3 hours to make and it seems like nobody has time for that anymore. One should really take the time and not get caught up in things that take away from that.












Oxtails with Crushed potatoes

6 main course servings

5 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

4 lb. oxtails or beef shanks

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large shallots, coarsely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 sprigs of thyme

1 tsp. juniper berries

2 cups dry red wine

1½ qt. veal stock


salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp. butter

Crushed potatoes:

2 lbs. baking potatoes

To make the oxtails, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook until browned on all sides, adding 1 tbsp. oil between batches, 10-15 min. per batch; transfer to a plate.

Add remaining oil to same pot. Add shallots, carrots, garlic, thyme sprigs, juniper berries. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8-10 min. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add veal stock; return oxtails to pot. Add enough water so the oxtails are just covered. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork-tender, 2-2½ hrs. Transfer oxtails to a plate. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (discard solids). Return stock to pot and reduce by half. Whip butter in and season with salt and pepper.

To make the crushed potatoes, bake potatoes 1 hr. in a 400°F warm oven. Once cool, peel the skins off. Using an electric mixer, crush potatoes. 

To serve, arrange oxtails on 6 warmed plates,  pour a little sauce over and pass the rest of the sauce at the table. Place a few spoonfuls of crushed potatoes on each plate.

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