1400g oxtail, cut into chunky pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you) 3 tbsp plain flour 3–4 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 onions, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 carrots, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 4–5 sprigs thyme 2 bay leaves 300ml Stout 500ml beef stock 2 tbsp tomato purée salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley, to serve
1) Preheat the oven to 150C/140C /Gas 2.
2) Wash the oxtail pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Pass the oxtail pieces through seasoned flour, tapping away any excess flour.
3) Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Brown the oxtail over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until dark brown all over. Add extra oil if the pan looks dry at any point during the browning step. Put the browned oxtail into a flameproof casserole dish. (You WILL need to do this in batches.)
4) Return the frying pan to a low heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add a little extra oil if necessary. Cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
5) Tip the vegetables on top of the oxtail and add the thyme and bay leaves. Stir in the stout, beef stock and tomato purée. Season with salt and pepper, put the casserole on the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook in the centre of the oven for 3 hours. Stir after 1½ hours, turning the oxtail in the sauce.
6) After 3 hours, the meat should be falling off the bone and the sauce should be thick. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and transfer the oxtail pieces to a plate, set aside and keep warm. Skim any fat that has pooled on the surface of the sauce.
7) Divide the oxtail pieces between six warmed plates and spoon over the sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley, if using, and serve with mashed potato and steamed vegetables.