Cooking time: 4 1/2 hours
2 oxtails, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup flour
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
14 ounce canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bouquet garni
1 bunch celery, outer stalks discarded, washed and coarsely chopped
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
1. Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Sprinkle the oxtail pieces with seasoned flour. In a large frying-pan, heat half the oil over high heat.
2. Brown the oxtail pieces evenly on all sides for 3 — 4 minutes. Transfer the oxtail to a large flameproof dutch oven with tongs or a slotted spoon.
3. Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic and remaining salt and, stirring frequently, fry them over moderate heat for 5 - 6 minutes or until they are soft.
4. Add the red wine to the pan. Increase the heat and boil the liquid until it has reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the beef stock and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Pour the onions and liquid over the oxtail in the pan. Using a wooden spoon, mix the tomatoes and their liquid, tomato paste and bouquet garni into the casserole. Bring to the boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and place it in the oven. Braise for 3 1/2 hours.
6. Just before the end of this time, blanch the chopped celery in the boiling water for 5 minutes and drain it in a colander.
7. Stir the celery into the casserole, re-cover the casserole and continue simmering for a further 30 minutes.
8. Remove the casserole from the oven and, with a metal spoon, skim the fat off the surface.
9. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water to a paste and stir into the sauce. Bring to the boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly, and cook for 2 minutes.
10. Discard the bouquet garni before serving.