Oxtail and Barley Soup
2 pounds oxtails, cut into 1-inch pieces, rinsed and patted dry
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup red wine
10 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven and brown oxtails on all sides, 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat.
Add onion, celery and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute. Add wine to pot, bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits.
Return oxtails to pan along with water, bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to surface. Add barley, carrots, bay leaf and thyme, cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and barley are tender, about 1 hour. Remove meat from bones and return to soup. Season with salt and pepper.