Halloween and Guy Fawkes are over, and I have zero qualms in admitting I am one of the first to fling the Christmas fairy lights up. Albeit hoisting up a bauble clad Christmas tree already might be somewhat premature, I’m eagerly in the mood for Christmas and everything it brings. With this comes my ultimate enthusiasm; entertaining and bringing everyone together over good food and good wine.
In homage to this ritual I’ve teamed up with Robert Welch to celebrate their Art of Christmas campaign and I’m going to share with you the Art of Preparation. British to the bone, Robert Welch epitomises the effortlessly chic yet practical design that every hostess requires; equipment that not only does the job well but looks sleek in the process.
The 3-piece essential knife set is a limited-edition gift set exclusively for Christmas and a brilliant introduction to the Robert Welch signature knife range. This consists of a large knife, perfect for scoring meats and chopping through root vegetables such as parsnips, a medium sized knife which is a great all-rounder and a smaller knife for pastry, fruit or chopping vegetables. Also available is the handheld knife sharpener, an absolute must with the knives as regular honing insures a long-lasting and sharp blade. It’s super easy to use too, no need for a blurred-Chef knife master manoeuvre, it’s a simple slot and drag mechanism that even the most amateur cook can master so not excuse for a blunt blade or any accidents in the kitchen for that matter …
After the big day, a warm and comforting bowl of parmesan mashed potato, topped with a ladle of ox-tail ragu and fresh watercress is what I crave and the signature black utensil stand, complete with four essential kitchen utensils makes light of preparation for the main event. This dish is usually served with my honey, pepper and clementine roasted parsnips made incredibly easy to prepare using the 3-piece Essential Knives Set and season with fresh cracks of pepper using the Signature Medium Mills Set.
Preparing the perfect Festive Feast requires top-notch quality tools that stand up to the test and Robert Welch’s award-winning kitchen knives and Signature range of accessories and cookware not only tick all the boxes for my kitchen with its minimalist and sleek design but also enables a hostess with the mostest to prepare the most flavoursome feast with ease.
Oxtail Ragu with Parmesan Mashed Potato
Recipe from Milly’s Real Food, available nationwide in WH Smiths, Waterstones and on Amazon.
- For the oxtail:
- Olive oil
- 1kg of oxtail cut into approx. 4-5 thick chunks
- A good pinch of salt and pepper
- A Knob of butter
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 white onion, cut into chunks
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, cut into chunks
- 200ml of red wine
- 400g tin of cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. of grain mustard
- 1 tbsp. of tomato puree
- 1 tbsp. of Worcester sauce
- 1 litre of good quality beef stock
- For the Parmesan mash:
- 500g of maris piper potatoes
- 50g of butter
- A large handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 150C.
- Pop medium sized heavy based pan on a high heat and add a glug of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, season the oxtail with sat and pepper and seal until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the butter and throw in the carrots, onion, garlic and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until softened, then pour in the wine to deglaze the pan.
- Add the tin of cherry tomatoes, mustard, tomato puree, Worcester sauce and beef stock and bring to the boil. Add the oxtail back in, cover with a lid and cook for 4 hours in the middle of the oven.
- To make the gremolata oil, finely chop the parsley and garlic and add to a bowl with the lemon zest. Pour in 100ml of extra virgin olive oil and give it a good stir.
- To make the mash, peel and cut the potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, transfer back to the pan and using a potato masher mash together with the butter, parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Once the oxtail is done, it’s up to you whether you serve it whole or shred the meet. As oxtail is quite a fatty cut, I like to shred mine. Simply remove the oxtail from the pan, shred the meat away from the bone and add back into the ragu. Give it a good stir and serve with a spoonful of parmesan mash and a drizzle of gremolata oil.