Ingredients (Serves eight)
8 medium-large pieces oxtail
3tbs plain flour
Sea salt and pepper
150ml vegetable oil
30 button onions, peeled
100g smoked bacon, cut into lardons
500g fresh cèpes, sliced lengthways
Small bunch thyme
1 bottle red wine
1 litre white chicken stock
10 sticks salsify
8 pieces bone marrow, 7.5cm tall
Season the oxtail and lightly flour, using 2tbs of flour. Place a large casserole on to a medium heat and add the oil then the oxtail and colour all over, turning the oxtail on all sides every few minutes until golden brown. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
Remove oxtail from the pan and place on a tray. Add 25g butter then add the peeled button onions and lardons together and cook for 4-5 minutes on a low to medium heat until nicely golden. Remove and put on to the tray. Add another 10g butter to the pan and, when almost golden, add the cèpes and turn the heat up a little so they colour well. Season, and when evenly coloured all over, return the onions and bacon to the pan. After a few minutes add three-quarters of the thyme and the rest of the flour and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the red wine and 750ml of the chicken stock. Return the oxtail to the pan, bring to a simmer and skim off any scum. Put into a 170°C oven for two hours - or longer - until the meat comes away from the bone.
Meanwhile, peel the salsify, wash and cut into 4-5cm batons. Place a sauté pan on a medium heat with the rest of the butter. Add the salsify and remaining thyme and a little seasoning. Move around the pan for 10 minutes until golden brown. Add the rest of the chicken stock and cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes so the stock will reduce slowly and glaze the salsify at the same time. Put the marrowbone into the oven for the last 20 minutes with a little sea salt on it.
To serve, put a piece of oxtail at the front of each plate with the sauce and bacon over it and the bone marrow behind.
By Tom Aikens (from Tom Aikens Cooking, published by Ebury Press, £25)