Braised Oxtail with Tomato Piquillo Jus
from Como Taperia
2 Roma tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2lbs oxtail (ask your butcher to cut into 2-inch pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, peeled and rough-cut into large pieces
1 carrot, peeled and rough-cut into large pieces
1 stick celery, cut into large pieces
1 fennel top, cut into large pieces
2/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup Palo Cortado sherry
4 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 allspice berries
Chicken stock to cover bones (preferably homemade; if not, use the less salty kind)
5 tinned piquillo peppers, sliced into triangles
Sherry vinegar to taste
Big pinch of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing
Handful of crispy French fries (preferably homemade)
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. (At the restaurant, this recipe is cooked low and slow at 230°F for 8 or 9 hours; this is a quicker home version that can be adjusted accordingly.) Blitz the Roma tomatoes and garlic together in a food processor and set aside.
Heat large Dutch oven or large heavy-bottom oven-safe pot with a little vegetable oil. Season oxtail with a little kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. When oil is smoking hot, gently place oxtail in pan, turning to get all sides evenly deep browned. Remove meat and set aside.
Add onion, carrot, celery and fennel to hot pan. Caramelize on high heat for about 4 minutes (it’s all right if some of the pieces burn). Don’t move the vegetables too much or they won’t colour.
Deglaze pan with wine and sherry, then reduce by one-third. Add back oxtail, along with thyme, bay, cinnamon and allspice, and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Place in oven and bake for 2½ hours, or until soft and coming away from the bone.
Remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours to reabsorb liquid. Take oxtail out and gently remove bones, then set meat aside. Strain off stock from vegetables, then add blitzed tomato/garlic pulp and reduce mixture to a sauce consistency. Depending on how much sauce there is, you may want to put some aside. Re-add the oxtail to the sauce, along with the piquillo peppers, then season with sherry vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust consistency to your liking... thin and smooth or rich and sticky. Finish with parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with French fries and enjoy with a glass of manzanilla or Palo Cortado sherry.