1 fennel bulb, chopped and fronds reserved for the garnish
2 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
400g tin plum tomatoes
500ml/18fl oz red wine, such as Rioja
500ml/18fl oz beef stock
2 bay leaf
½ tsp whole peppercorns
2 garlic bulbs
1–2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon stalks, leaves reserved and used for the dressing below
1 bunch fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tarragon dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 banana shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
¼ fennel bulb, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 roasted piquillo pepper, diced
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves, from above
Preheat the oven to 240C/220C Fan/Gas 9.
Place the oxtail in a roasting tin, drizzle over olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–30 minutes until browned evenly.
Meanwhile, add the oil to a large ovenproof pot, over a medium-low heat, then add the onion, red pepper, celery, fennel and carrots and sweat for 10 minutes.
Add the tomato purée and tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock.
Add the oxtail to the pan along with the bay leaves, peppercorns, garlic, tarragon stalks and thyme and simmer gently over a low heat on the stove for 2 hours with a lid on. Alternatively, heat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3 and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
When the meat is tender, remove from the sauce and set aside. Strain the sauce through a sieve set over a saucepan, then transfer the pan to a medium heat and reduce until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 10–15 minutes. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, make the dressing. Place the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat then add the shallots, garlic, fennel and celery. Sweat for 10 minutes or until softened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the piquillo pepper, sherry vinegar, parsley and tarragon. Spoon the dressing over the top of the oxtail along with the reduced sauce to serve.
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