Chef Dave Beran adds warm spices — cinnamon, peppercorns and juniper — to punch up his hearty stew. He also adds pears and apples, which give the stew a lovely fruitiness and make it especially good with Oregon Pinot Noir.
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6 sprigs each rosemary, thyme and parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
1 bay leaf
4 pounds meaty oxtails, cut into pieces
2 cups dry red wine
5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 small carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tomatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 leek, light green and white parts only, sliced 1 inch thick
2 small Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
Chopped parsley, for garnish
How to Make It
In a piece of cheesecloth, wrap the herbs, peppercorns, cinnamon, juniper and bay leaf and tie with kitchen twine. In an enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the bundle, oxtails, wine and stock; add 2 cups of water. The oxtails should be completely submerged; if necessary, add more water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the oxtails to a plate. Bring the marinade to a simmer, skimming off any foam. Add the oxtails and all of the remaining ingredients except the salt, pepper and chopped parsley and bring to a boil. Press a sheet of parchment paper directly on the stew and cover tightly with foil. Braise the oxtails in the oven for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the oxtails to a plate. Transfer the vegetables to a separate plate. Discard the herb-and-spice bundle. If necessary, simmer the cooking liquid until slightly thickened.
Pick the oxtail meat off of the bones in large pieces; discard the bones and any excess fat. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
The oxtail stew can be refrigerated for 3 days; reheat before serving.
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