Chef's Recipes

Tony Bilson: Petite salade of oxtail and Sydney rock oyster

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for petite salade of oxtail and Sydney rock oyster by Tony Bilson.

By Tony Bilson
  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 15 mins cooking plus cooling, setting
Tony Bilson: Petite salade of oxtail and Sydney rock oyster
Tony Bilson: Petite salade of oxtail and Sydney rock oyster

This unusual but satisfyingly piquant mixture of flavours is equally at home with a glass of Champagne or a glass of chardonnay.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 gm oxtail pieces, from the tip end, excess fat removed
  • ½ each onion, carrot and celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 175 ml veal stock
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 2 tsp aged red wine vinegar
  • 30 gm cornichons, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsp finely chopped golden shallot (about ½ shallot)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Sydney rock oysters, freshly shucked, brine reserved, shells discarded
  • To serve: baby parsley


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 120C. Heat half the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add oxtail and turn occasionally until browned (3-4 minutes), transfer to a casserole and set aside. Add vegetables to pan, sauté until tender (3-4 minutes), then add to oxtail. Deglaze pan with wine, add to oxtail with stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season to taste, cover with aluminium foil and cook in oven until meat falls from the bone (3-4 hours). Remove oxtail from braising liquid, remove meat from bones (discard bones), finely shred meat and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Strain braising liquid through a fine sieve and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours), then scrape fat from surface with a spoon and discard. Warm jellied stock in a saucepan over medium heat until melted, whisk in eggwhite and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer until eggwhite rises to surface and stock clarifies (4-5 minutes), then carefully ladle stock through a muslin-lined sieve into a small container (discard solids) and refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).
  • 3
    To serve, combine oxtail, vinegar and remaining oil in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water and heat until just warm (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, add cornichons, parsley, shallot, and mustard and season to taste. Place a 4cm-diameter ring mould in centre of each of four serving plates, press oxtail mixture into each to form a nest (there may be some mixture left over), remove moulds, then place an oyster in the centre of each. Place little spoonfuls of oxtail jelly around them, scatter with baby parsley, spoon over a little reserved oyster brine and serve.


This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of . Drink suggestion by Tony Bilson

  • Author: Tony Bilson