It was probably about 20 minutes after I put out my big, bright, sunshiny yellow Spring wreath that it started snowing again. Again. I like winter, I really do. So, I refuse to complain about being snowed in. Again.
There are so many reasons why I like winter. For starters, I like the fact that it makes Spring that much better, the flowers that much brighter and the trees that much greener. But there are a lot of real things the chilly weather brings. Like the smells of burning wood, oversized comfy sweaters, and rich hearty stews. These are all worth a smile in my book.
So, this is when I jumped on one of the last opportunities to turn on the oven and braise one of my favorite cuts of meat: oxtail. If you like shortribs you will love oxtail. Similarly, it is a fatty cut, but the flavor and texture of the meat is incomparable. As well as the price tag. You cook them slowly for a few hours in the oven, your house fills up with the most amazing smells — and because I am always on the lookout — I made sure this recipe does not use up a full bottle of wine. Which means there is a glass waiting for you. And if you live on the East Coast you’re going to need it. Happy shoveling!!!
Red Wine-Braised Oxtail
-2 lbs oxtails
-2 carrots, diced
-2 celery stalks, diced
-1 medium onion, diced
-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
-2 Tbsp tomato paste
-2 1/2 cups red wine (a decent red wine, not red cooking wine)
-2 bay leaves
-2 whole cloves
-1/2 tsp ginger powder
-2-3 cups beef stock
-fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
-salt and pepper
-flour for dusting
Preheat oven to 325.
In a large dutch oven coat the bottom of pot with a thin layer of vegetable oil and turn to medium-high. Season the oxtail heavily with salt and pepper and then toss in flour. Shake off excess flour and when oil is beginning to smoke add oxtails. Sear on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes. Be sure not to crowd the pot, so you may have to do this in two batches.
Remove the meat once browned and turn heat down to low. Remove any excess oil, just leaving a small amount in pot. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 5-7 minutes longer, being careful not to brown the vegetables. Scrape up all the brown bits on bottom of pan. Add the tomato paste and cook a minute longer. Pour in the wine and add the bay leaves, cloves, and ginger.
Add 2 cups of the beef stock and then add a little more if needed. You want the liquid to come up to at least 3/4 of the oxtail. Bring to a boil, cover and then put in oven. Set timer for 2.5 hours. After 2.5 hours remove lid and check tenderness. Turn oxtails over and cook for approximately 30 minutes longer or until the meat is very tender.
Strain the liquid into a pot and strain off any fat that surfaces. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in a small amount of flour, if needed, to thicken and serve the sauce over oxtails. I like to serve with mashed potatoes or rice and top with fresh chopped parsley. Enjoy!