have you ever had this nagging feeling of what to cook whenever a festive season is around the corner? what mood do i want to create? i want it to be different but not too overwhelming for my guests....who am i inviting? what is the occasion? are they adults or children? big eaters or mousy eaters? well there is room for everyone... read on.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Country Oxtail Stew

I can't stop thinking of oxtail stew lately, don't know why. The only thing that is stopping me from running to the butcher and whipping up a pot of stew is the cholestral. Anyway, my cravings has got the better of me this time. I always have a soft spot for oxtail soup. Seriously, I can actually taste it as I type. This is an authentic stew which is cooked in an oven instead of on the stove. I have cooked this dish in many styles but I find this most authentic. Well, this is not an everyday affair so let's have the best!
1 oxtails (cut into 4 cm pieces, marinate with a little sea salt and black pepper, dusted with plain flour) 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 4 sticks of smoked ribs (approx. 5cm pieces) 3 shallots (halfed) 5 cloves 5 cloves of garlic (crushed) 2 cups of white wine 3 Tbsp Mesquite cooking sauce (for the smoky flavour) 50 ml tomato puree 1 can peeled tomatoes 6 sticks celery (cut into 4 cm lenghts) 1 Tbsp toasted pinenuts 1 Tbsp sultanas
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Heat oil in a large casserole, fry smoked ribs till golden brown then remove from casserole. Sear oxtail thoroughly on all sides in the same casserole oil, the return the smoked ribs, add in the shallots, cloves and garlic. Stir till sizzles.
  2. Empty the can of tomatoes into the casserole dish and pour in the wine, add mesquite sauce, tomato puree and cover the dish with aluminium foil. Bake for approx. 3 - 4 hours till the meat is tender and falls off the bone. (Remember to turn the meat a few times to avoid burning)
  3. When casserole is cooked, add in the celery sticks, pinenuts, sultanas and pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

This stew is best eaten with scoops of creamy warm mash potatoes. Peel 5 US potatoes and boil for 20 minutes in water. If the potatoes are cooked, the knife can go through effortlessly. Add small cube of butter, a pinch of sea salt, a dash of pepper and 170 mls full cream milk and mash them all together till fluffly and creamy. Serve with hot oxtail stew and oven fresh french loaf.

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I'm Audrey from Somewhere in my kitchen, Malaysia.

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