I was tooling around the flogosphere last month when I came across the Braised Oxtail post at Dinner Diary. It looked so good, I knew right then that I had to make some braised oxtail, and soon!
Oxtails Seasoned with Salt and Pepper
There are lots of ways to cook oxtail. In Hawaii, we have a version of oxtail soup that comes with a clear broth scented with star anise and ginger. The Malaysian oxtail soup version that Annie is more familiar with comes flavored with spices like coriander, cumin and fennel seed. One day when we were dating I told her we were going to have oxtail soup. She was so excited, only to be let down when I served her the Hawaiian version of oxtail soup instead of the Malaysian version she was expecting.
Getting back to the oxtails at hand, I specifically wanted a recipe that called for red wine because I wanted to use up my bottle of LAN Crianza Rioja. So I surfed over to Food Blog Search, found a few good candidates, and eventually settled on the Oxtail Stew recipe by Elise over at Simply Recipes. It truly is an easy recipe! The only part that isn't quick is the browning of the oxtails.
Oxtail Braised in Red Wine
adapted from Simply Recipes
3 lbs oxtails with separated joints (my package was only 2 lbs)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup water
2 cups of red wine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 cups chopped vegetables - carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips (I used carrots and celery)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup tomato paste
Seasoning - salt and pepper, a pinch of thyme, one bay leaf
Seasonings for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Rinse oxtails and pat dry. Season oxtails in salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the oxtails until browned on all sides.
Searing Oxtails for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe
4. Add 1/2 of the chopped onions to the pot and cook them down until translucent.
5. In another pot, heat the stock, water and red wine over medium heat. Add to the dutch oven, then bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours (3 seemed a little too long for me).
6. Add the vegetables, raisins, tomato paste and herbs to the dutch oven after the oxtails have been braising for 2 hours. Cook 1 more hour in the oven, then remove the pot from the oven.
Braised Oxtails in Red Wine
At this point, the house was filled with the wonderful aroma of red wine, oxtails, and veggies. I wanted to dig in right away but I decided to wait, let the pot cool, and then put the braised oxtails into the fridge overnight. I think it's best done this way to let the flavors further meld and develop.
The next night, we had it for dinner, served with mashed potatoes. Before heating it up, though, we tried to skim off some of the congealed fat. There wasn't a lot, but I wanted to make the dish a little healthier!
Oxtails Braised in Red Wine with Mashed Potatoes
That oxtail was falling-off-the-bone tender, and the sauce was so incredible. The flavors had really come together. I especially liked the sweetness that the tomato paste, onions and carrots brought to the dish. The meat itself still had nice flavor and moistness due to all the intra-muscular fat.
(Annie says: Nate's dish turned out really well. Better yet, I didn't have to do the cooking--teehee! But I still want some Malaysian Oxtail Soup! Next time, we'll cook some Malaysian Oxtail Soup, okay?)
(Nate: yes, dear.)