From the Taste Test article in the March 2017 issue.

El Nido's Tagliata di Manzo
Serves 4

  • 3 pounds oxtails, chopped into 1- to 2-inch chunks (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, diced
  • 2 medium leeks, white parts only 2 celery stalks
  • 4 medium carrots
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme
  • A few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 heaped tablespoons flour
  • 28 ounces canned plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups red Italian wine, optional
  • 8 cups organic beef stock, optional
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat a large roasting pan in a 450° oven.
  2. Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven, then add the oxtails. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, toss, and place in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelized.
  3. Meanwhile, trim and halve leeks and celery lengthwise, then chop into rough - to 1-inch chunks. Peel and chop carrots into similarly sized pieces. Place vegetables in a large ovenproof casserole pan over medium-low heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Pick leaves from the thyme and rosemary, roughly chop, and add to the mixture. Add shallots and bay leaves. Cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.
  5. Remove oxtails from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
  6. Add cloves and flour to the vegetables, stirring well to combine, then pour in tomatoes and wine (if using). Add oxtails and any roasting juices, cover with beef stock (or 8 cups water), and stir well.
  7. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, then pop on the lid. Place in oven for around 5 hours, or until meat falls away from the bone, stirring every hour or so. Add a splash of water, if needed.
  8. Remove pan from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes. Using rubber gloves, strip meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones. Season to taste and enjoy with a vegetable like steamed rapini or spinach, plus creamy polenta, pasta, or garlicky mashed potatoes. (Or, perhaps, the Corn Maiden’s potato dish that follows.)