Oxtails Part I

Each oxtail is cut about 1 1/2 inches thick

I found these gorgeous oxtails in the market at the Tete de Veau Triperie.   A triperie specializes in selling offal, in other words, those nasty bits like tripe, liver, stomach, tongue, etc. and, in this case, oxtails.   This stall is huge, attractively arranged, and the owner is very, very friendly.  You have to stand in line and get there early before the voracious French take all the good stuff. 

I think the other stall owners have been talking about me because of the “yeses” and “alrights” the Tete de Veau owner politely threw into the conversation.  In addition, he examined and counseled me on my proposed method of cooking the oxtails, just to be sure I wouldn’t screw them up.  After I had paid, he gave me a big piece of head cheese to taste.   It was okay.

I bought two packages of the oxtails and froze the larger 5 lb package.  For the smaller 4 lb package today,  I’m going to double and tinker with the Chinese recipe from the Globetrotter Diaries site.  In a later posting, I will use my Mom’s recipe when I find my pressure cooker which is in an anonymous box, somewhere in the garage, probably in the back, on the bottom of some other really heavy boxes.

I know that I have Chinese rice wine but, again, the garage situation; so I substituted with Japanese sake.

The tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic smelled so good I felt like eating it!   I just took one small bite. After the first hour of simmering, I added some crushed “bird tongues” , small dried red peppers I found in a bottle in the supermarket.   About 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper should produce the same effect.   Optional.

Serve with rice or plain boiled potatoes. 
Bon Apetit!
Mànmàn chī!

Hong Shao Niu Wei (Braised Oxtail) 

4 lbs of oxtails
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 inches of fresh ginger sliced
2 large onions
4 or 5 large cloves of garlic sliced
2 large tomatoes coarsely diced
1/2 cup of sake
1 cup of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper(optional)

2 tbsp of brown sugar
6 tbsp of ketchup

In a large stock pot, brown the oxtails on all sides in 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Remove from the the pot and set aside.   

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and cook the ginger, garlic and onions until the onions are soft.   Add the tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute. 

Place the oxtails on top of the tomato mixture and fill with water just to cover.  Pour in the soy sauce and   sake.  

Note:   At this point, you could transfer this to a pressure cooker and cook for about 40 minutes and then you would only have to add the sauce ingredients and simmer for a bit.  If not, read on.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Add the crushed red (if using), leave the lid tilted open a little and simmer for another hour and a half.  All together about 3 hours.

Mix the brown sugar and ketchup together, then add to the pot to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate overnight.   This will taste better the next day and allow you to remove the congealed fat before reheating and serving.

Beverage suggestion:  At the cocktail hour, before dinner, have a frozen shot of Stolichnaya.   Wisely continue with beer during dinner.        



About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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