Succulent beef that fell of the bone, earthy vegetables, a decadent sauce… You’d think we were describing a restaurant, but that’s how Chef Zach’s oxtail stew came out tonight! There is some planning and prep work, but there’s also lots of time to spend waiting around. Fill the wait time with catching up on a good book, clearing out the DVR, or knocking out a few chores.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of oxtail, whatever it is for 6 bones
3 cups of beef broth
2 cups of red wine
About 15 tri-colored mini potatoes
1 small white onion
2 celery stalks
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
4 strips of bacon
3 garlic cloves
2 tbs. of tomato paste
2 tsp. of dried thyme
1 tsp. of cracked black pepper
2 tsp. of Lawry’s seasoning salt
Salt to taste
Peel and slice the carrots in 1/4″ coins. Dice the onions and celery also to 1/4″ pieces. Peel and finely mince the garlic. Season the flour with the Lawry’s seasoning salt. Cut the potatoes into halves, then each half into quarters, then transfer to a bowl of water for the time being.
Heat a dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Cut the bacon into 1/4″ pieces and cook in the dutch oven until rendered of fat and crispy. While the bacon is cooking, put the seasoned flour in a sealable storage bag along with the oxtail. Toss the oxtail so that each piece is coated in flour.
Remove the bacon from the dutch oven, leaving the fat; set aside the bacon for now. Add the oxtail to the dutch oven, still over medium heat. Brown all sides of each piece. Remove the oxtail and set on a plate for the moment. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook until all the vegetables are starting to turn roughly caramelized and soft, roughly 12 minutes and stirring frequently.
Add the tomato paste, thyme, and black pepper and cook for 1 minute more. Add the beef broth and red wine, and bring back to a simmer. Put the oxtail back into the mix, including any juices that accumulated on the plate. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally flipping the oxtail pieces half-way through.
After 3 hours, drain the potatoes from the water, and add them to the dutch oven. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes uncovered so that the sauce thickens a little. Taste for desired saltiness during this final cooking stage.
Serve 2 bones per person with lots of veggies, plus grits or fry bread.