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July Winter Warmers

We are in the grips of winter. The cold weather, coupled with the lockdown and the chaos in our country means that staying at home is the only option at the moment.

It’s hard to focus right now, so why not keep busy cooking a delicious meal or losing yourself in a good book. These are our two suggestions, but you know we love hearing from you, so please email us here if you have a recipe worth sharing, or if you have read a book that you absolutely loved and would like to share.


Taste Magazine’s Delicious Oxtail


  • 5 T olive oil
  • 2.5 kg oxtail, cut into 4 cm chunks
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 400 g carrots, sliced julienne
  • 400 g celery, sliced julienne
  • 1 T fresh rosemary finely chopped, plus an additional sprig for remembrance
  • 1 T fresh thyme finely chopped, plus an additional sprig for courage
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 x 400 g whole tomatoes cans
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 litre beef stock


Preheat the oven 220°C. Place 3 T oil in a roasting tray and heat in the oven. Once the oil is hot, add the oxtail and toss until all the meat is coated. Season to taste.

Return the meat to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes, or until it’s nicely browned and the fat is golden.

Meanwhile, place the carrots, celery and herbs in a large saucepan with the remaining olive oil and gently simmer for 20 minutes. (You many need to add a few tablespoons of water at some point.)

Remove the oxtail from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 170°C. Add the bay leaves, cloves, flour, tomatoes, wine and beef stock to the vegetables. Lastly add the oxtail, all the roasting juices and bring to a boil.

Return to the roasting tray, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for a further 5 hours. If you make this a day or two in advance, no harm comes to it if you put it into the oven at 170°C for another hour or so to heat it up.


The book we highly recommend this month is The Heart Is The Size Of A Fist by PP Fourie. If you would like to win a copy of this book, please email, and we will put you in the draw.

The Heart is the Size of a Fist by PP Fourie
Review by Kate Sidley

The semi-autobiographical novel centres on Paul and his relationship with his politically liberal but cruel and violent alcoholic father, and his loving but damaged mother. The book shifts between recollection of his childhood, devastated by addiction and domestic violence, and his adult life in which he does the work of understanding and healing, and reconnects with his much younger half-brother in a poignantly tentative and tender way. It’s a coming-of-age and coming out novel, a book about survival and healing and memory.

It’s beautifully written, thoughtful and strangely gripping. It had me glued to the book and the sofa all day. One of my best books of the year so far.

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