This French Catalan-inspired stew is a perfect example of how fatty meat, cooked on the bone, will produce a memorable succulent dish. Prepare it a day in advance so you can remove all the fat and allow the full flavor to develop.
On the first day, I rub the oxtails with herbs and spices and then brown them under the broiler, which imbues the meat with a faint scent of smoldering aromatics, thus launching the first layer of richness. The following day, I finish the dish with multiple reductions, deglazing repeatedly to develop complexity and a syrupy sauce, produced from nothing more than a little vinegar and dried porcini soaking water.
Serve this unctuous stew with Golden Potato Gratin.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.