Saturday, September 27, 2008

Recipe of the week....

Inspired by a dish that I had at Ceviche, a tapas restaurant that is walking distance of my condo, I present Oxtail del Faizal:

* Two packages of oxtail (typically 3-4 major pieces per package)
* 13 oz of dark beer (stout or porter)
* 1 jar of tomato sauce
* 3 T Garam Masala (think..the Indian version of allspice)
* 2 T Chile Powder
* 1 T Habanero Flake (or 2 T crushed red pepper)
* 1 T Fennel Seed
* 1.5 cups flour
* 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Peanut Oil

1) Coat oxtail pieces with flour. (Put oxtail and flour in a closed container, then shake)
2) Heat pan to medium high, then add olive oil.
3) Sear oxtail pieces (it is hard to get all sides, but your patience will be rewarded.
4) Deglaze pan with beer, then add oxtail pieces to pan or pot.
5) Add tomato sauce and spices. If the oxtail pieces are not submerged, add more beer.
6) Get pot to a rolling boil, the reduce to a simmer (i.e., light bubble)
7) Simmer contents for 2.5 to 3.5 hours, stirring and turning pieces occasionally.
==> Because you are cooking at a low temperature - low risk of overcooking.

Oxtail needs to be cooks "low and slow" because unlike steaks there is a lot of connective tissue in it (just like ribs). The connective tissue gets rendered into the sauce and gives it a great "mouthfeel", just like a good stock.

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