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  1. Preheat oven 130°c fan assisted or 150°c without a fan (gas 2) or set the slow cooker.
  2. Make a Mirepoix by neatly chopping equal amounts of onion, carrot and celery or my preferred choice of celeriac, the root of the celery plus the spices and the garlic cloves.
  3. Take a large, heavy-based frying pan, and add a little oil & fry the oxtail and bacon on all sides then transfer to a casserole dish or slow cooker.
  4. Next fry the mirepoix in the same pan until lightly browned then add red wine, reduce by two thirds then add tomato puree, orange peel & the beef stock then reduce a little, thicken with a tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little cold water stirred into the boiling broth.
  5. Pour the sauce over the oxtail and vegetables then cover with a tight-fitting lid & place in the oven and cook for 3 hours, the meat should be tender & falling away from the bone.
  6. When cooked pass off the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, add the prunes then reduce to a glossy finish then pour back over the meat ready to serve discarding the vegetables & spices.

to serve:

  • Mashed potatoes, red cabbage pickle & hot mustard.