Well you wouldn't have thought of this yourself would you? It's quite a mouthful and a flippin' delicious one at that. It may take you more than pancake day to make, but by jove, it certainly towers above the rest. By The Oxo Tower.


500g oxtail

200g shin of beef diced  

2 springs thyme

2 springs rosemary  

5 fennel seeds

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic

100g diced carrots

100g diced onions        

80g diced celery

50ml olive oil

3 litres red wine

30g butter

60g tomato puree

1tin diced tomato, blitzed with 50g sugar

150 - 200g seasoned flour

200ml jus  

1lt chicken stock

For tarragon crème fraiche

120g crème fraiche (hung overnight, to drip off excess water)

1/2 bunch finely chopped tarragon

20ml lemon juice

350g Dijon mustard

Zest of 1 orange

Salt and pepper

10g sugar

For the pancakes

1 pint milk

2 eggs

40g flour

80g buckwheat flour

20g melted butter

Salt and pepper


Braised oxtail stew

  1. Marinate oxtail and beef shins for two days in the red wine
  2. Before braising the meat, drain off the wine and reserve for later, put the flour in a freezer bag and season well with salt and pepper then coat the meat with seasoned flour
  3. Seal off in hot olive oil in the brat pan until coloured golden brown; medium heat for about 10 minutes. Put the browned oxtail into a flameproof casserole dish
  4. Return the frying pan to a low heat add butter into pan and sauté the onion, celery, carrots then add your garlic, rosemary, thyme
  5. Stir in the reserved wine and cook out for about 10 min over medium heat
  6. Then place into the casserole dish with the meat add chicken stock and bay leaves cover and cook slowly on low heat in oven at 160 for 2 to 3 hours drain meat from sauce Reduce sauce add back to meat when cold

Tarragon crème fraiche

  1. On the day of serving, mix all ingredients for the tarragon crème fraiche and season to taste

Buckwheat pancakes

  1. Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it
  3. Whisk eggs, incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl
  4. Gradually add small quantities of the milk, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk)
  5. When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre
  6. Whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream
  7. Melt butter in a pan
  8. Get the pan is really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. (2 tbsp. is about right for an 18cm/7in pan)). As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter
  9. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife, this side will need a few seconds. Then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate

To serve the pancakes, fill each with three tablespoons of the heated ox tail stew, some pickled green peppercorns and a dollop of the tarragon crème fraiche, roll up and garnish with chopped chives, and if you like, some salad leaves.   

There’s still the traditional lemon and sugar option for those not wishing to step out of their comfort zone, of course...      

Many thanks to the Oxo Tower Restaurants for contributing the recipe and photo.