Guinness-Braised Oxtail

I’m obsessed with good food right now, and this dish, along with the Texas-style brisket briefly shown in the oxtail video, has been among the best things I’ve ever prepared.  Stay tuned to the 180 Kitchen blog for the rest of the year.  I’m planning to go off with some really neat stuff and posts twice per week or more… 

It was a little daring going with Guiness for this braise, but the finished product had a unique flavor that is truly one of the deepest, richest, and most exotic flavors that I’ve ever created in one pot.  I’m not sure I’ll ever use red wine to braise with ever again, especially when Costco sells Guiness for $1 per can.  I served it with a very rare form of Ligurian homemade pasta… a lost art known as croxetti, which someday I hope to demonstrate as well. 

Anyway, the video below (which features the term “poop chute”) demonstrates the universal method for braising, which can work for everything from rabbit legs and lamb shanks to Osso Bucco, short ribs, and the most flavorful – oxtail. 

There’s no finer way to heat your home as we head into fall than with a good braise at low temperature in your oven. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 oxtail, additional meat and bones from other cuts if desired
  • 2 cups each of carrots, celery, and onion – medium dice
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cans Guinness
  • 1 “bouquet garni” or herb bundle of thyme as shown in the video
  • Salt to taste
  • 3T coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Dry oxtail with paper towel
  2. Brown in hot coconut oil until all sides have at least some brown coloration
  3. Remove oxtail and sweat mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion) in remaining fat in the pan until very soft and lightly browned
  4. Add tomato paste and toast in the hot pan for several minutes to form what’s called a “pincage”
  5. “Deglaze” with Guiness, add oxtail back to pan along with herb bundle, bring to a boil, and reduce until saucy consistency.
  6. Cover with cold water just until everything is submerged, but don’t drown it.
  7. Bring back to a boil.
  8. Cover with a lid and put in the oven at 300 degrees F for 4-5 hours or overnight at 250 degrees F.
  9. Remove meat from the bones and mix meat back into the liquid.
  10. Skim most of the visible fat off of the surface with a spoon or ladle and save for future use – a good fatty oxtail makes the stew too greasy

Serve, ideally with creamy grits or polenta or root vegetable puree in the center with the stew surrounding it. 

For clarification on any of the above cooking terms, or for other variations of this basic recipe, see 180 Kitchen: 180 Kitchen Tips, Recipes, and More – the ultimate online cooking tutorial.

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How to Saute

This may seem like a simple lesson, but don’t overlook the fine details of cooking technique.  By taking the time to patiently cook things like cauliflower or zucchini as shown in the video until much of the surface area of the vegetable is well-browned and crispy on the outside – soft on the inside and infused with some tasty fat, you will turn seemingly bland and barely edible vegetables into something you can’t shovel into your mouth quickly enough.  Even the most sworn zucchini hater will have a newfound appreciation for the power of proper coooking technique when they lay into some of this…

Published in: on September 23, 2010 at 8:04 am  Comments (12)  
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