The Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Feb. 1 will feature recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects. For past food stories and recipes visit www.tri-cityherald.com/lifestyles/food/.
about 4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup diced guanciale (cured pork cheek) or pancetta (Italian bacon); may substitute bacon
4 pounds oxtails, end pieces discarded, cut into 2-inch-thick pieces (a)
1 cup diced celery, including some leaves
1 cup diced red onion
1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled and crushed
1 dried red chili pepper
5 bay leaves
1 cup red wine
2 cups Italian plum tomatoes, pureed
2 cups beef stock or broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a deep pot or Dutch oven large enough to hold all of the oxtails in 1 layer, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the guanciale or pancetta and saute until lightly brown and fragrant. Transfer the meat to a small bowl; set aside.
Add the oxtails to the pot and slowly brown the meat on all sides, about 30 minutes total. Transfer the oxtails to a large bowl and set aside. Add the celery, onion, garlic, chili pepper and bay leaves to the dish and cook until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the oxtails; set aside.
Add the wine to the pan to deglaze and cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced by one-third. Stir in the tomatoes and beef stock or broth. Return the oxtails and vegetables with their juices and the guanciale or pancetta to the pan, cover and simmer until the oxtails are tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Skim the fat from the surface of the stew. Transfer the stew to a baking dish and bake, uncovered and basting every 15 minutes, until slightly caramelized and hot, about 90 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Note: Oxtail originally was, literally, the tail of an ox. Today, it generally refers to beef tail, a tough but flavorful cut that demands a very long period of braising.
Per serving: 445 calories, 51 gm protein, 14 gm carbohydrates, 17 gm fat, 192 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 480 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber
From: The Washington Post