Oxtail with Red Wine and Pancetta

1.5kg oxtail or leg of beef (large. meaty rounds only)
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
150g pancetta cubes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp tomato puree
200ml red wine
300ml beef stock
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Finely chopped parsley

Heat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Trim any thick knobs of fat from the oxtail or leg of beef.

Put the flour into a mixing bowl and season well. Toss the rounds of beef in the flour shaking off any excess. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large casserole on the hob over a medium-high heat.

Cook the meat to brown in a couple of batches for 2-3 minutes each side. then remove and put to one side

Tip the fat from the pan, wiping out any burnt flour necessary. Add another 1 tbsp of oil and fry the pancetta for 2 minutes until light golden brown and then add the onions, garlic, veg, spices and bay leaves.

Cook over a lowish heat for about 10 minutes stirring often, until the vegetables have softened.

Mix in the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute more, then throw in the red wine, chopped tomatoes. beef stock and 200ml water.

Season well and return the meat to the pan. Bring everything to a bubble, then cover the casserole with a circle of greaseproof paper and a lid. Place in the oven and cook for 31/4 to 4 hours, until the meat is tender.

Leave to cool a little and skim off the fat. Then leave to cool completely and put in the fridge overnight.

Reheat the next day for 30 minutes at 190C/Gas Mark 5 Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

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