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Oxtail stew with clove & orange.

Another Beaujolais recipe, this one borrowed from her mother. It eschews wine out of economy, which not only Anglicizes the dish but also allows it improvement with the clove and orange. You will want two days to prepare your stew for four diners.

  • 2 Orange-with-cloves.jpgoz beef dripping or grated suet, or neutral oil
  • about 4 lb big meaty oxtail sections
  • 2 sweet onions (like Vidalia), cut into thin crescents
  • 1 heaped Tablespoon paprika
  • heaped Tablespoon flour (preferably Wondra)
  • about 2 quarts beef stock
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • heaped teaspoon celery seed
  • an orange stabbed with 10 cloves
  • 8 peeled carrots, split lengthwise and then in half
  • about ½ cup chopped parsley



  1. Melt the fat in a heavy pot (cast iron is ideal whether or not enameled) over high heat and brown the oxtails in batches, removing each batch from the pot in turn.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the onions with the paprika until they soften.
  3. Stir the flour into the onions, return the oxtails to the pot and add enough stock just to cover them.
  4. Add the bay, celery seed and orange, then bring the stew to a boil and then simmer it for 2½ hours.
  5. Refrigerate the stew overnight and skim off the fat.
  6. Return the stew to a boil, add the carrots and simmer until the meat falls away from the bone, usually in another hour.
  7. Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot, toss the bay and orange, then reduce the stock by about a third over high heat.
  8. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot, turn off the heat and stir the parsley into the stew.



-Beaujolais is one of the very, very few cookbook writers who allows oxtail enough time to cook. Hats off.

-She dredges the oxtails in seasoned flour instead of adding it at Step 3: Her alternative is messy, and reduces the thickening power of the flour considerably, which see realizes because she recommends whisking a paste of the stock and flour into the stew at the end of Step 7 if it has not thickened.

-Beaujolais also adds tomato paste (Step 2) and uses water instead of stock.