I love to braise at any time of year but it’s especially great in the winter. Since most braises need around three hours, having your oven on for that long adds warmth to the house and the beautiful fragrance fills the house with a coziness.
Last night I choose oxtail for my meat. I think years ago it really was oxtail but now it’s actually beef. It’s a relatively inexpensive cut of meet and is perfect for braising as the sections of bone add a rich dimension to your final product.
I started this one as normal, browning the meat in a heavy pan, then adding onions, garlic, celery and cooking them until starting to soften. I used red wine to deglaze the pan. Then I added baby carrots, sliced rutabaga, bay leaf, a tablespoon of tomato paste and stock to almost cover it all. About 2 1/2 hours in I added a few more carrots, mushrooms, and small tomatoes.
After a total of three hours, I removed the pan from the oven, separated the meat and vegetables from the pan sauces using a slotted spoon. I covered the meat and vegetables and kept them warm while boiling a batch of fettuccine. At the same time I added a flour slurry to the pan juices and brought it to a boil to create a sauce. And then I enjoyed!