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Oxtail is one of the most economical and most flavorful cuts of meat, and one that takes well to marinating for days in a hearty mixture of red wine, herbs, and vegetables. The longer you marinate the mixture, the more flavorful it will be, but be sure it marinates at least 3 days. Oxtail is also a fatty cut ~- give yourself plenty of time to allow the stew to cook and then cool, so all the fat can be skimmed off. Serve this with thick noodles in warmed soup bowls, accompanied by a tossed salad, and of course, a robust red wine. Stick a clove into 4 onion quaters. Place all of the marinade ingredients through the peppercorns in a large nonreactive casserole. Add the oxtail pieces. Cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Remove the pan from the refrigerator from time to time to stir and evenly distribute all the ingredients. The day before you plan to serve the stew, remove the casserole from the refrigerator. Remove the pieces of oxtail from the marinade and drain well. In a heavy skillet, brown the salt pork over medium-high heat until evenly browned. Add the pieces of oxtail, in batches, and brown on allsides. Return the oxtail and salt pork to the marinade, adding, if necessary, enough water to cover generously. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Carefully skim any impurities or grease that rise to the top. Simmer, keeping the mixture bubbling gently, until the meat is falling off the bone, at least 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, use a small spoon to remove and discard all the fat that has solidified on top of the stew. Add the fresh carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook again until the mixture is heated through, checking for seasoning from time to time. To serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta just until firm. Drain well. Evenly divide the pasta among shallow soup bowls. With a two-pronged fork, carefully remove the pieces of oxtail from the stew. Drain, and place on a carving board. Remove the meat in big chunks, and place them on top of the pasta. Carefully spoon the sauce and the vegetables on top of the meat, sprinkle with just a bit of coarse salt. Serve immediately.
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