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This is an "All Day" kind of recipe and is perfect for those cold winter days when the wind blows off Lake Michigan. Allow about 7 hours for prep to cooking to serving.
Rinse the oxtail pieces and then make sure they are thoroughly dry. Count the number of bone pieces. (This makes it easier when you have to fish them out of the pot to know you’ve got them all.)
Wrap and tie the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, cloves and savory into cheesecloth.
Get everything else chopped, diced, peeled, or otherwise measured.
Place the cheesecloth bag, orange zest, olives, whole onion, garlic, and tomato paste into the bottom of a large cooking pot. (At least 5 quart capacity.) Cover with the beef stock and the red wine.
Preheat a cast iron, or other heavy skillet, on medium-high heat so water sizzles right off. Add the peanut oil and wait a few seconds for it to shimmer and lightly smoke. Add small portions of the oxtail pieces to the oil and rapidly sear them. Wear cooking gloves or things could get very painful! Move the pieces off into the pot as they cook. Keep an eye on the amount of smoke and adjust the heat accordingly.
Add the bacon drippings to whatever oil is left in the skillet. Add the chopped onions and diced potatoes and continue to cook on medium-high until everything is browned. Place the onions and potatoes, including all the scrapings you can get off the pan bottom into the cooking pot on top of the stuff already in there. Do not stir or otherwise try to mix things up. Just let it sit.
Heat the pot over high heat until there is a rapid boil. Do not stir or otherwise try to mix things up. Just let it sit.
Once a boil is reached, reduce heat to medium-low and let things simmer uncovered for 5 ½ hours. Every once in a while, like every 30-45 minutes, very lightly and gently stir the pot.
After 5 ½ hours, do three things: •Cover the pot, SLIGHTLY increase the heat, and cook for another 30 minutes. •Prepare the Egg Noodles •Prepare the vegetables.
After this half-hour passes, uncover the pot and reduce heat to Low. Add the vegetables to the stew. Fish out the cheesecloth bag and all the bone pieces. (Remember why you counted them at the beginning?) You may need to lightly work some of the meat off the bones, but most of it will have fallen off.
Remove from heat and serve on a bed of egg noodles. Enjoy!
This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. The leftovers freeze and taste just fine when reheated. Your only limitations are the size of your pot (5 quarts per unit/batch) and the storage space of your freezer.
This recipe was provided by Michael Mowle from Rochester Hills.