A dish from the vineyards of France and one of the many reasons why I keep on reading Elizabeth David.
2 Oxtails, Cut into joints
120 grams Salted pork or unsmoked bacon, Diced
2 Onions, Chopped
4 Carrots, Diced
900 grams White grapes
Salt, To taste
Back pepper, Freshly milled
Mace or all spice, To taste
2 Bay leaves
Parsely, Few sprigs
Thyme, Few sprigs
2 Cloves Garlic
1. Soak the oxtails in cold water for about 2 hours to drain the blood. Tie the herbs and garlic into a bouquet garni. Chop the onions and dice the carrots and bacon.
2. Place the bacon in a heavy pot or casserole. Put the vegetables on top of the bacon and cook over low heat until the fat starts running.
3. Add the oxtail and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper and add the mace. Remove all stalks from the grapes and slightly crush them. Put them on top of the oxtail and cover the pot with 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and add the lid.
4. Place the pot in an oven preheated to 140℃. Cook for al least 3 1/2 hours, preferably longer.
5. When the meat is soft, almost falling off the bone, transfer the oxtail to a serving dish and keep warm. Remove some of the bacon bits and add to the oxtail. Strain the sauce using a fine mesh or sieve. Return the sauce to the pot and reduce until it thickens. If you want to speed this up, make a slurry of 2 tablespoons cold water and 1 tablespoon of flour, mix well until there are no lumps and stir into the sauce. Cook until it reaches the desired thickness and pour over the oxtail. Serve with pureed or mashed potatoes or polenta.