Monday, April 25, 2011

Braised Oxtail

OK, I know it was Easter weekend but I am really not into ham, Jamon Iberico yes, but not ham, and I know my friends would have thought is kinda weird if I served braised rabbit (bunny) for dinner.  So I decided to do something really different.  I bought about 7 pounds of fresh oxtail at HMart, a Asian grocery store where I can find things Safeway and even Whole Foods do not carry.  My first encounter with the store was when I had read an article about various grocery stores around Denver.  The article wrote that HMart carried fresh eel.  I have had grilled eel in Venice, loved it and I thought, great, I am going to buy some and throw it on the grill.  Well... when I located it in the store, the snake like appearance gave me the creeps big time.  Obviously I scratched that idea.  But I do shop here for rabbit, duck, soft shell crabs, pot stickers, pickled ginger and sometimes their produce. 
Back to the Oxtail...  One recipe that I really like is from Mario Batali's cookbook, Molto Italiano.  The oxtail is simmered in a pot of water before it is browned in olive oil along with pancetta, chopped onions, minced garlic and chopped carrots.  White wine is added and reduced by half.  Then tomato paste and some of the broth mixture is added to the pot.  Cover the pot and simmer for three hours.  Towards the end, chopped celery is added.
The oxtail is removed from the pot and set aside.  Once cool to the touch, remove the meat from the bones and put it back into the pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce the sauce some.  Plate the oxtail and garnish with a mixture of chopped celery leaves, thinly sliced red pepper and red onion and red pepper flakes dressed with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 
It is a delicious and very rich entree.
Bon Appetit!

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