06/11/2011

Braised Oxtail with Pickled Vegetables

Oxtail is such a cool cut! Cheap, easy to cook and absolutely sumptuous in flavour and texture.

Time for some tail out action!

That might well mean one thing to one set of people and quite another thing to another set of people ... anyhoo ... I'll leave the mind to boggle ... thinking is paleo!

Oxtail needs nothing more than braising ... long and slow.

You can put some flavours in - I fried off some onions, garlic, mushroom and green pepper to make a base for the gravy which would come from long, slow braising.

Put these pre-fried flavours into a casserole dish, push the oxtail in and cover with water. That's all. Place the casserole dish into the oven and set it to 100C. Leave it there as long as you can - 6-8 hours is ideal.

About an hour before serving, retrieve the casserole dish, remove the oxtail and carefully trim off the large fat section. Put the remaining oxtail into a foil parcel and return to the oven.

Pat off some of the excess fat from the juice with kitchen towel, blend up the solids with the liquid and pass through a sieve for a really fine gravy. Thicken with arrowroot and set to reduce slowly.

Meanwhile, steam some vegetables - I used mini-vegetables: parsnip, carrot, sprout, cauliflower, tenderstem broccoli and asparagus.

Steam for a few minutes and stop the cooking by dropping the vegetables into ice cold water, kept cool with fresh ice cubes.

Return the vegetables to a pan already primed with onions, garlic and herbs - I used tarragon.

Cover with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, some sherry vinegar and mix thoroughly.

About 15 minutes before serving, simply put the vegetables on the heat ... low, ensure the gravy is reduced and tasty and retrieve the oxtail from the oven.

Keep the oxtail warm in a parcel of tin foil.

Plate up ...

In a wide-brim bowl, pour in some gravy and arrange the oxtail pieces.

Arrange the vegetables around the meat, discarding the aromatics.

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