Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happiness is a Nice Rustic Winter Meal - Braised Oxtails with Thai Sweet Sticky Rice

Oh the joys winter! Snow flurries, ice clinging on tree branches, watching movies under lots of blankets, drinking hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps in the morning, and eating a rustic meal in front of the crackling fire are one of my favorite winter memories.

Last night I decided to make one of my daughter's favorite winter meals, braised oxtails. She has been begging me cook this for a long time and I was waiting for a day like this to cook this delicious dish. Oxtails are one of the most flavorful beef cuts. Long braising of oxtails makes the meat fall off the bones. Oxtails are the perfect winter meal.

The cooking method is quite simple.

1. Dust and season the cut oxtails all around with flour, oxtail seasoning, salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in an enameled braising pot and brown the oxtails on all sides. Remove the oxtails from the dutch pan and add onions, shallots, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and cook until tender.

3. Deglaze with 1 cup of red wine, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar,  and 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce and reduce by 1/2.

4. Add the oxtails and the diced tomatoes and incorporate the beef stock.

5. Bring to a boil and then cover and cook in a 300 degree oven until falling of the bone.

6. Strain off the sauce and reduce by half or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

There are some variations to this recipe. You can add ginger and sliced oranges or if you like spicy food you might want to add hot sauce and cayenne pepper.

For a Mediterranean feel add "Pimenton" and stuffed green olives (yum!!).

For a Jamaican twist substitute worcestershire sauce for browning sauce, add green peppers, paprika, butter beans, and 6 Pimento Berries (Allspice). Jamaican oxtails recipes rarely use wine but instead water and browning sauce.

You can serve the oxtails with polenta, mashed potates, or in my case with Thai sweet sticky rice and sun dried tomato spoonbread.

Buen provecho! If you decide to make oxtails let us know how it went.  Trust me this is a meal are going to want to master. Is that good!!
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