" Secondhand Lions" Tall Tails

It appears that Uncle Hub and Uncle Garth aren’t the only ones to have acquired great fortune. Join Claud and the gang as they tell “Tall Tails” about their eccentric uncles.

For the Tails:

  • 3 pounds oxtail, cut into manageable pieces
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 8 -10 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-twelve ounce bottle of beer
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 shot whisky

For the Beans:

  • 1-pound large dried white cannellini beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-twelve ounce can chopped tomatoes

For the Parsley Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 hard-boiled egg


1. Preheat oven to 300F. Season oxtail pieces with salt and fresh ground pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy cast iron skillet or saucepan over medium high heat. Brown the meat well on all sides, working in batches if needed. Remove the browned tails and arrange in a roasting pan or large baking dish in a single layer.

2. Pour off any fat from the skillet and then add the beer, beef stock and a shot of whisky. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and then pour the liquid over the oxtails in the roasting pan. Scatter the thyme sprigs over the oxtails, cover with foil and bake until the meat is tender about 3 hours or more.

3. In a large, heavy stockpot, cover beans with the cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for three minutes and then remove from heat, cover and let soak 1 hour. Discard soaking water, cover with fresh water and then return to the stockpot. Add the onion, celery, bay leaf and garlic; bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer and then cook uncovered for about an hour, or until tender. Season beans to taste with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper and let beans cool in their own liquid. Once cool, remove and discard the onion, celery and bay leaf; drain and reserve any remaining cooking liquid.

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil for about a minute without browning. Add the tomatoes, beans and 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered for 30 minutes.

5. Combine parsley sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

6. Pile braised ox tails on top of a portion of cooked cannellini beans, drizzle with parsley sauce and eat rapidly!

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