Oxtail stew with celery

Ingredients – serves eight

  • 2kg of oxtail cut into pieces
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek
  • 1 stalk celery
  • sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 125g streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs marjoram
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 1kg tomatoes peeled and chopped or two 400g tins
  • good pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1kg of celery hearts cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

Trim fat, wash oxtail put in a large saucepan, cover and bring to the boil, simmer for ten minutes, drain and throw away the water. Cover with water again, boil and remove all the scum, add the carrot, leek and celery, thyme and bay leaves. Season and simmer for three hours. Lift out with a slotted spoon; keep the stock.

Fry the bacon, onion and garlic in the oil until onion is golden, fat rendered; add marjoram and oxtail pieces; turn; pour in the wine; add tomatoes, pepper, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and simmer for one hour until the meat is tender enough to come off the bone, adding the stock if necessary to keep covered.

Meanwhile, cut celery hearts into large pieces, cook in salted boiling water until tender but still a little crisp. Drain and add to the oxtail; add raisins and pine nuts; cook ten minutes more and serve.

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