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Oxtail Shepherd's Pie with Parmesan Mash Topping

Oxtail Shepherd’s Pie with Parmesan Mash Topping


Fall-off-the-bone oxtail topped with a parmesan mash. Paired with a Bordeaux blend, this mash-up of flavours is one you could never forget!

  • Serves: 6-8 |
    6-8 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 30 mins |
  • Cook Time : 6:0 hours
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2.5 kg oxtail
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, cut into rounds
2 large celery stalks, chopped
50 g tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 rosemary stalks, picked and chopped
6 sprigs of thyme, picked and chopped
8 sage leaves, chopped
3 bay leaves
¼ C (60 ml) balsamic vinegar
2 C (500 ml) red wine
2 x 400 g tins of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand in a bowl
3 C (750 ml) beef stock
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fish sauce
salt and pepper

Parmesan Mash Topping

1 kg large potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
½ C (125 ml) warm milk
½ C (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
150 g butter, cubed at room temperature
2 egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 230 ºC.

Place the oxtail into a roasting dish and drizzle with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes until caramelised then set aside. Reduce the oven heat to 160 ºC.

Set a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Heat a glug of oil then add the onion, leeks, carrots and celery. Fry until the veggies start to soften and brown, then add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Stir fry for another 3-5 minutes until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with the balsamic vinegar, then add the red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the wine by roughly a third, then add the tomatoes, beef stock and fish sauce. Add the meat to the pot along with any resting juices and give it a stir to combine, check and adjust seasoning. Bring the pot to a boil, then place it in the oven and let it slowly cook for 4-5 hours until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool until the meat is cool enough to handle. Strip the meat off the bones and discard the bones. Mix everything to combine, recheck and adjust seasoning if necessary, then set aside.

Parmesan Mash Topping

Place the potatoes into a pot of cold salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain the potatoes and let them steam for at least 5 minutes to get rid of any excess moisture. Mash the potatoes, then add the milk and continue mashing. Add the Parmesan and butter and mash until silky. Let the mash cool for a bit, then mix in the egg yolks until everything is smooth.

To Assemble

Spoon the oxtail into a cast iron pan or baking dish. Do not fill the dish to the brim. Leave at least a 2 cm lip for the mash to sit on. Spoon the mash onto the oxtail and then smooth it out with a spatula, sealing the edges to the baking dish. Use a fork to create a pattern, then grill on the middle rack of the oven until golden until perfectly golden.