Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wine-braised oxtail stew

Per Diana's request, here's the wine-braised oxtail stew recipe. It's really just a two-pot recipe, one pot to reduce the wine while in the dutch oven, you prepare the rest of the stuff. It'll take about 4.5 hours to prepare, though 3.5 hours are spent in the oven while you do other stuff like bake bread, mash potatoes, and mix a salad. Get the wine going first, then chop your vegetables for maximum time efficiency.

6 lbs oxtail
2 bottles dry red wine (I used a burgundy... yum!)
3 tbsp butter
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 medium leeks, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
5 shallots, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley stems
3 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups beef broth
coarse salt & pepper

In a 4-6 quart pot, reduce the wine to approximately half. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the oxtail. Place 2 tbsp butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown all sides of the oxtail pieces, transferring to a large bowl as they become browned. Add the last tbsp butter to the dutch oven, and saute all the coarsely chopped vegetables until they're soft and tender. Place the oxtail in one layer on top of the vegetables. Set the parsley stems, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs on top of the oxtail. Pour the wine over the oxtail. Add the beef broth until the bones are just covered. Bring the liquid to a boil, place the lid on the dutch oven, then set it in the oven for 3 to 3.5 hours, till the meat is tender, but not quite falling off the bone.

Remove from oven. Remove the oxtail from the dutch oven and set aside in a large bowl. Strain the liquid and vegetable mixture through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids to get all the juices out. Discard the solids. Return the liquids to the dutch oven and reduce to about 1.5 cups of liquid.

Serve the oxtail and sauce with mashed potatoes. I did dirty red garlic mashed potatoes. It was a hit.

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