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Umsila wenkomo with dombolo (oxtail stew with dumplings)

SERVES 6 // HANDS-ON 45 min // HANDS-OFF 240 mins

For the umsila wenkomo
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
1.5 kg oxtail
Vegetable oil, to fry
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
500 ml beef stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
150 ml red wine
2 bay leaves
200g green beans, topped and tailed
For the dombolo
500g flour, plus extra to knead
10g yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
375–500 ml lukewarm water
Vegetable oil, to grease
3 tbsp butter

For the umsila wenkomo
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Mix flour, paprika, mixed herbs, salt and pepper in a ziplock bag. Add the oxtail, seal and shake until the meat is well coated.
3. Heat oil in an ovenproof pot and brown the oxtail (in batches if necessary). Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add stock, tomatoes, wine and bay leaves. Cover and place in the oven for 3 hours. (Or simmer on low heat on the stovetop.)
5. Add the beans, then cook for another hour.
For the dombolo
1. Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar.  Mix in 375 ml water. If the dough is too dry, add more water.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, about 8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and leave in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 hour.
3. Divide into 10 balls. Flatten each one until it is the size of your palm.
4. In a heavy-based pot, melt the butter. Add the dombolo, leaving 2 cm between each one (work in batches if necessary). Add about 2 cm water to the pot.
5. Cover and steam the dombolo over low heat for 10–15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed and the base of each dumpling is golden.

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