Recipe: Oxtail Stew

by Michael Fricker of Grand Spirits

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click to enlarge Michael Fricker.
Michael Fricker.

It’s winter, and Natasha [Bahrami] and I love to make soups throughout the cold months. There is something about the smell of a soup simmering away in the house that just makes winter tolerable. Oxtail stew is something we really enjoy making together. It started a couple years ago, and it’s become something of a tradition for us to make regularly over the cold months. It’s belly and soul warming.

Note: I marinate the oxtail for 24 hours before we make the stew, and it just gives it a lot of extra foundational flavor.

3 shallots
6 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 oz rice wine vinegar
2 oz sesame oil
2 oz Calabrian chili

2 lbs oxtails, marinated
1/2 cup oil (for cooking oxtails)
5 large carrots, large dice
2 large onions, large dice
1 head of celery, large dice
1 leek, large dice
6 cloves garlic
3 oz tomato paste
6 oz flour
4 cups red wine
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb finger potatoes
3 qts beef stock
4 oz butter
1 can peeled tomatoes
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

For the marinade, put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend.

Pour over the oxtail and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Heat a large pot on high. Add oil. Season and sear the oxtail until browned on the outside. You want a firm crust to develop. Remove each oxtail when it browns.

Add the carrots, onions, celery, leek and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion becomes translucent. Make sure to season them with salt, pepper and chili flakes.

Add the tomato paste and stir, making sure to coat all the vegetables well. Sauce them for another few minutes until the tomato paste starts to caramelize.

Add the flour, and stir to coat well. Allow that to cook for another few minutes until it’s all a deep-brown color.

Add the red wine and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes or so and then add the rest of the ingredients, including the oxtail.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a light simmer. Season with salt and pepper gradually as it cooks.

Simmer for around 60 to 90 minutes or until the oxtails are fork-tender.

I usually allow it to rest overnight and enjoy the next day, as the flavor truly deepens with time.

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