Wash and trim the fats of the oxtails, then pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Next, season them with salt and pepper.
Spread flour on a tray. Season and coat the oxtails with the flour, then put them aside.
In a large, deep pot over medium fire, heat the oxtails in 20ml of oil, 10 minutes on each side until dark brown. Browning time differs according to the size of the oxtail. Add extra oil if the pot looks dry at any point during browning. Set the oxtails aside.
Stir fry onions, garlic, carrots and celery in another pot. Add a little extra oil if necessary. With occasional stirring, cook gently for 10 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
Lower the heat and add tomato paste, making sure all the vegetables are evenly coated. Next, add the browned oxtail, thyme, bay leaves, wine, beef or chicken stock, potatoes and tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper, then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. After 3 hours, the meat should be soft and the sauce, thick. Skim any fat that has pooled on the surface of the sauce.
To thicken the sauce, remove some potatoes, blend it with some sauce and pour it back into the pot.
Finish off the oxtail dish and vegetables with gravy, then serve with chopped parsley and bread.
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