Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/Gas 3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the pancetta until browned. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and mace and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.
Add the oxtail to the pan and allow it to brown a little, then add most of the grapes, lightly crushed (reserve some of the grapes whole for garnish). Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and let it cook slowly for 3–4 hours, or until tender.
Remove the oxtail from the pot, along with some of the pancetta and set aside in a warm place. Pass the sauce through a ricer or sieve, pressing the softened vegetables into the sauce. Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary.
To serve, place the oxtail on a serving plate and spoon the sauce over the top. Finish with the halved, reserved grapes and the rest of the pancetta.
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