Hochepot (ohsh-poh) in French cuisine is traditionally a rich oxtail stezo – the name probably derives from the French verb hocher, to shake, since the stew should be shaken occasionally during cooking to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan. This adaptation of Hochepot omits the pig’s ears and trotters of the classic recipe but otherwise is authentic.

Serve with boiled potatoes and a red Rhone wine such as Chat eauncuf-du-Pape for a splendidly satisfying meal.

2 oxtails, cut into pieces

2 oz. seasoned flour, made with

2 oz. flour,

1 teaspoon salt and

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 fl. oz. vegetable oil

16 fl. oz. beef stock

8 fl. oz. red wine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

4 fl. oz. brandy medium-sized onions, thinly sliced medium-sized carrots, scraped and sliced

3 small turnips, peeled and chopped

1 small cabbage, coarse outer leaves removed, washed and chopped

Coat the oxtail pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Set aside.

In a very large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the oxtail pieces to the pan and cook them, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until they are evenly browned.

Pour in the stock and wine and sprinkle on the salt, pepper and cayenne. Increase the heat to moderately high and bring the liquid to the boil.

In a small saucepan, gently warm the brandy over low heat until it is hot. Pour the brandy into the stew and ignite it.


Hock is an English corruption of Hock-hcim, a wine-producing Rhine village, whose wine became very popular in Britain during the nineteenth century. The word is now a general term used to describe white Rhine wines.