Braised oxtail, celeriac, espuma mash and Douglas fir

Graham Campbell's braised oxtail recipe would make a fabulous dish for a Christmas dinner party. Full of rich, heady flavours of beef and celeriac and infused with aromatic Douglas fir, this dish is a truly refined winter warmer.

First published in 2015




Braised oxtail

Espuma mash




  • Siphon bottle or cream whipper
  • Muslin cloth
  • Blender
  • Mandoline
  • N2O cartridge 2
  • Round pastry cutter


Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark 1/4
To begin, caramelise the oxtail in a hot pan until nicely browned all over. Place the Douglas fir in a deep roasting tray and lay a muslin cloth over the top
  • 3kg oxtail
  • 400g of Douglas fir pine
Place the oxtail on the cloth and arrange the carrots, onion, celery and garlic around the sides. Add the red wine, cover with water and cover the tray in foil. Place in the oven for 10 hours
Once cooked, pass the liquid through a sieve and pick the meat from the bones. Skim off all the fat from the liquid and reduce to a sauce consistency. Add a small amount of sauce back to the meat to moisten it and season with salt
Lay a sheet of sturdy cling film on a work surface and lay the oxtail meat down the centre in a sausage shape. Wrap tightly in the cling film to form a ballotine and tie the ends to seal. Place in the fridge to set
Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until cooked
Drain the water, mash until smooth then place the potatoes, cream and milk in a pan. Bring to the boil then transfer to a blender with the butter and blitz until smooth. Season to taste, place in a siphon gun and charge with 2 N2O cartridges
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 100ml of milk
  • 50g of butter
Finely slice the celeriac 8 times on a mandoline and cut out 8 circles with a round cutter. Add the white wine vinegar, sugar and white wine to a pan, bring to the boil then pour over the celeriac
  • 1 celeriac, peeled
  • 100ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50g of sugar
  • 50g of white wine
Cut eight 2.5x5cm triangles from the celeriac and boil in salted water until cooked
Blend 100g of the celeriac with the potatoes in a blender with water until you reach a crumb consistency, then wash using a really fine strainer under running cold water to remove excess starch. Dry completely using a cloth
Place the vegetable oil in a large deep pan and warm to 190°C. Slowly whisk in the dried celeriac and potato, cook until golden then strain off the oil and dry the crumb on a cloth. Season with salt
  • 1l vegetable oil
  • salt
Blanch the kale in boiling salted water then finish in a hot pan with the butter
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
To serve, cut 4 portions from the oxtail ballotine and colour the cut-sides in a pan, still wrapped in the cling film to keep the shape. Warm through in the oven, then remove the cling film
Pipe some espuma mash on each plate then add the red kale. Place the oxtail on the top
Caramelise the celeriac triangles in a pan with oil and butter and divide between the plates with the pickled celeriac. Add the Douglas fir sauce and finish with the celeriac crumb
First published in 2015

Despite his relatively young age, Graham Campbell possesses the gastronomic confidence and assured touch of a seasoned pro.

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