Called Brasato di Coda di Bue in Italian, this stew is a perfect pairing with Barbaresco. It, along with the wine, will make 4 to 6 people very happy. Total cooking time is two to four hours depending on stove top or slow cooker (see notes).
Course: Main Course
Season the oxtails with salt and pepper on all sides. Dust them with the flour.
Heat the oil in an enamel or stainless pot or other ovenproof pot on medium-high. Brown the oxtails in batches on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic, season with salt and pepper. (If the pot is drier, you might have to add more oil.) Cook until they start to soften, 4-5 minutes, scraping the browned bits from the pan as they cook.
Return oxtails to the pan, placing them on top of the vegetables. Add the bay leaves and cloves, then the wine, which will come up the sides of the oxtails submerging them half way.
Turn the heat to low and cover, turning the meat occasionally, until the meat is tender and falling apart when you pull it with a fork, about 2 ½ to 4 hours. Note the wine will reduce while cooking.
Remove the oxtails to a plate and remove the meat from the bones; set aside.
Remove the vegetables from the liquid and place on top of the meat.
Bring the liquid to a light boil and continue to reduce until it thickens enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. Finish the sauce with a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of butter.
Stir the meat and vegetables back into the sauce. Serve with polenta (I sliced a polenta log and browned the pieces). Spoon a little sauce over the top and serve immediately.
You can also make this in a slow cooker. Sear the oxtails then brown the vegetables separately. Then add the vegetables to the cooker, topping with the meat then wine. Cook low and slow- about 3 to 4 hours on low.