For oxtail stew, gather 5 pounds ox tails, 1/4 cup flour, 1 onion, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks. Organize 4 garlic cloves, thyme, 1/4 cup tomato paste, wine and 2 cups beef broth. Collect bay leaf, 8 ounces mushrooms, 15 ounces canned tomato and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.
Wash the ox tails, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Place them in a mixing bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Next, coat tails lightly with the all-purpose flour, and heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown meat on all sides, in batches if necessary, then transfer to a waiting plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess drippings.
Add chopped onion, celery, garlic and thyme leaves to the pot, browning and softening onions for about five minutes. Add salt, pepper and tomato paste, toasting the paste before deglazing the pan with the bottle of wine, preferably a dry red wine. Scrape brownings from the pan, then add broth, bay leaf and tomatoes with juice. Replace tails, and simmer for approximately 3 1/2 hours.
After said time elapses, check to see that the meat is tender and falls off the bone. Add mushrooms, preferably a button variety, and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Check for taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove the meat from the bones, and discard the latter. Serve over buttered noodles.