A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Braised Oxtail

Believe it or not, oxtail was not at all hard to find in my grocery store. I am used to cooking “strange” items. I am prepared to hunt a little for food. Goose is not easy to find, Beef cheeks seem to be a problem, Fennel Pollen is special order. Foie gras is special order but so expensive that I rarely follow through with my order anyway. So when I asked at store number for oxtail and found it immediately, I was pleasantly surprised.

Braised oxtail is absolutely delicious, the meat is very tender. Many people braise it then remove the meat from the bone, chop up the meat, add 1-2 eggs (scrambled), a little Parmesan cheese, then stuff the meat into pasta (ravioli, tortellini). Here I plan to just strain the braising liquid, add the chopped oxtail back in and serve it over pasta.

The braising liquid I cook first, as it need to reduce for ½-1 hour (or until somewhere between ¼-1/2 its original volume.

Braising liquid
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red onions, peeled and small dice
3 ribs celery, small dice
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8” slices
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with knife
2 bay leaves
1 bottle red wine (750 ml)
1 quart chicken stock
2 cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes (28 oz each)

Into a medium – large stockpot add the oil. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and then cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes stirring often. Add in the garlic. Cook 1 minute more. Add in the bay leaves, red wine, chicken stock, and tomatoes. Turn heat up to simmer then, let mixture reduce by ¼ to ½ (about 1 hour).

In the meantime you can sear the Oxtails-

4 pounds beef oxtails
Salt, freshly ground pepper
Vegetable oil (about ¼ cup)
You will want to use a large braising pot if you have one (am using a large 14”in width caphalon one pan, whish is helpful because it has a cover). If you don’t have a large braising pan/pot then a large stockpot or small roasting pan will have to do. Season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Add to your pan enough oil to cover the bottom. Turn heat to high. Add the meat and sear the meat on all sides (10-15 minutes) Work in batches if you need too.

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