Bison Tail Bourguignon
- 8 slices fatty bacon, chopped
- Olive oil
- 3 large fresh Italian parsley sprigs
- 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 large fresh bay leaves, bruised
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 5 or 6 bison tails
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup diced carrot plus 6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled; 1 minced, 3 left whole
- 1 3/4 cups beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups red Burgundy wine (such as Beaujolais)
- 1 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 12 small (1-inch-diameter) shallots, blanched 1 minute, peeled
Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate. Pour drippings into small bowl. Return 6 tablespoons drippings to pot (add olive oil, if necessary, to measure 6 tablespoons total; reserve bacon for another use). Tie parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together for bouquet garni. Stir 1 tablespoon flour and butter in small bowl to smooth paste.
Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and nutmeg in medium bowl. Add oxtails, a few pieces at a time, to seasoned flour and toss to coat.
Heat bacon drippings in pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add oxtails and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer oxtails to bowl after each batch.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chopped onions, diced carrot, and minced garlic to pot. Sauté until onions soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Return oxtails and any accumulated juices to pot. Add bouquet garni, then broth and wine. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, adjusting heat occasionally to maintain gentle simmer, about 3 hours. Mix in mushrooms, shallots, carrot chunks, and whole garlic cloves. Increase heat and return to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover pot and simmer gently until meat and vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes longer.
Tilt pot and spoon off any fat that rises to surface. Stir flour paste into stew. Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over buttered egg noodles.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm over low heat before serving.