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Mix the flour and mustard in a large bowl. Season. Toss the oxtail pieces in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the oxtail for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the remaining ingredients except the parsnips and celery. Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to a preheated oven and cook for 3-3½ hours.
Prepare the dumplings: place the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and add the herbs. Stir in enough water to form a smooth dough and shape into 8 evenly-sized dumplings. Cover and set aside.
30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the parsnips and celery. 20 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the stew from the oven, add the dumplings and return to the oven uncovered. EatServe with savoy cabbage.Tip: Any remaining stew tastes even better the next day. Remove from the fridge and heat slowly at the same oven temperature for about 1 hour until piping hot.
1.3kg (3lb) oxtail pieces
30ml (2tbsp) plain flour mixed with10ml (2tsp) English mustard powder
Salt and pepper
30ml (2tbsp) sunflower oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
600ml (1pint) stout or brown ale
300ml (½pint) water
Zest of 1 orange
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly cubed
2 sticks celery, chopped
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
75g (3oz) butter, cubed
30ml (2tbsp) freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
45-60ml (3-4tbsp) cold water