Oxtail prepared by this method makes an extremely satisfying, filling and nourishing dish. Serve with baked potatoes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 oxtail, trimmed and cut into pieces
8 shallots, peeled
4 medium-sized carrots, scraped and sliced
4 heads of fennel, trimmed and sliced
4 celery stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
4 fl. oz. Pernod
3 pints beef stock
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon black pepper
4 oz. pearl barley
4-inch strip of orange rind
Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C).
In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the oxtail pieces and fry them, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they are evenly browned. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the oxtail pieces to a large ovenproof casserole.
Add the shallots, carrots, fennel and celery to the casserole. Pour over the Pernod and shake the casserole vigorously.
Pour over the stock and stir well to mix. Stir in the salt and pepper.
Cover the casserole with aluminium foil and a heavy lid. Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 4 hours or until the meat is very tender and comes away from the bones. Remove the casserole from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Place the casserole in the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Remove the casserole from the refrigerator and remove and discard the fat that has risen to the surface.
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
Add the pearl barley and orange rind to the casserole. Place the casserole in the oven and heat it for 30 minutes or until the contents are very hot.
Remove the casserole from the oven and remove and discard the orange rind. Serve immediately.