Oxtail Stew with Chocolate

Yield: 4-5 servings.


4 pounds (2 kg) oxtail
salt, pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small piece of bacon or pancetta, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, sliced
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2.4 dl) wine, white or red
1 bay leaf
28 oz (800 g) canned tomatoes
5 cellery stalks, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
Cellery leaves, chopped
1 oz (30 g) bittersweet chocolate (72 or 85% cacao)
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Oxtail Stew with Chocolate


  1. Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, and brown them well on all sides in olive oil.
  2. Add bacon or pancetta, chopped onion, and garlic, and fry for a few minutes at medium heat.
  3. Add carrot, wine, tomatoes, spices; cover the casserole, and cook for 4-5 hours at low heat until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bones. Add water if necessary during cooking; the meat should be almost completely covered with liquid during cooking.
  4. Take the casserole from the oven, and remove most of the fat from the surface of the sauce.
  5. Add chopped cellery stalks and raisins, make the final seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cook for about 30-45 min more.
  7. Add chopped cellery leaves and chocolate, and mix well when the chocolate has melted. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
  8. Serve with rice or polenta, or simply with good Italian bread to soak up all the sauce.

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