Oxtail Ragout

oksehale ragu_page

For 4-6 servings:
2 ox tails
3 carrots
4 large onions
1/2 celery
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns
tomato paste
1/2 kg pearl onion [1,1 pound]
1/2 kg small round carrots [1,1 pound]
5 small turnips
1 – 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large glass of sherry

Ask the butcher to split the tails in suitably sized pieces. If the largest tail pieces are very thick, you should also get them cleaved. Remove the biggest lumps of fat and melt them in a large cast iron pot. When the fat begins to turn brown, add the oxtail pieces. Cut carrots, celery and onions into slices or cubes and add it all in the pot. Add 3 tablespoons flour stirring well. When the flour is stirred well , add so much water that it just covers the contents of the pot. Then add the bay leaves, peppercorns, tomato paste and salt. Put a lid on the pot and let the mixture simmer until meat is easily pulled from the bones (about 2 hours).

Pick up the tails pieces and put them into a tureen or large bowl and keep them warm. Then taste the sauce. Add glazed small, round carrots, small turnips and pearl onion. Glazed? Yes, in advance let these vegetables sauté in butter for approx. 10 minutes and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. If they are not completely tender after this, let them boil further in the ragout sauce until they are done.

Finally add a glass of sherry (not absolutely required) as well as salt and pepper. If the sauce seems a bit too oily, you may skim it a bit with a spoon. When you are satisfied with the sauce, pour it over the oxtail pieces. Mashed potatoes goes well with this dish.

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