|Who knew!? Oxtail is actually the cow's tail?!|
Well, in sticking to my New Year's resolution, I tried this seemingly dreadful ingredient in a new recipe last week.
After I got over the fact that I was eating an animal's tail, it was reminiscent of the most tender pot roast I have ever tried. And when it all comes down, what makes eating a tail more disgusting than eating a cow's shoulder, back or butt?
Recipe from "The Union Square Cafe Cookbook":
'Braised Oxtails with Red Wine and Onions'
*Note: I substituted thyme for parsley + it worked very well
6 lbs. oxtails, cut 1 1/2 inches thick
6 cups of red wine
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
2 cups cipollini onions, peeled
1 1/2 cups sliced celery
2 cups sliced carrots
1 tsp. juniper berries
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
5 parsley sprigs
4 tsp. kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1. Trim the oxtails of excess fat and place in a large nonreactive bowl. Add wine, vinegar, cipollini onions, celery, carrots, juniper berries, peppercorns and parsley. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator, overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375
3. Drain the oxtails, reserving the liquid and vegetables. Dry them on paper towels, season with s/p, and dredge in flour.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and brown the oxtails on all sides, 10-15 minutes. Do this in several batches if necessary. Remove oxtails from the pan. Add the vegetables and brown, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. Transfer the browned vegetables to a bowl and reserve.
5. Return the oxtails to the pan with the marinade, juniper berries, peppercorns and 2 cups of water. Stir in the tomato paste until dissolved. Cover and bake for 2 hours.
6. Add the reserved vegetables to the pot, stir, cover and return to the oven for an additional hour, until tender.
7. Allow the pot to cool for 10-15 minutes. Uncover, tilt the pot slightly, and skim as much fat as possible using a bulb baster or ladle. Return to a simmer over low heat, adjust the seasoning, and serve with chopped parsley.
This is truly a tasty dish. I served it over egg noodles and with grated Grana-Padana cheese. Because, as you know, everything is better with cheese...and if you are grossed out by eating a cow's tail, let's discuss where cheese comes from...