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Insatiable Foodie

Passport & Plate - Red Wine-Braised Oxtails + Rustic Mashed Potatoes

USA | Monday, 16 February 2015 | 5 photos

Red Wine-Braised Oxtails:
2 ½ pounds of oxtails (cut into 1 inch discs)
Sprinkle of salt & pepper
4 teaspoons of olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
½ cup of coarsely chopped carrots
1 ¼ cup of coarsely chopped celery
1 ½ teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
1 finely chopped medium sized red onion
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 packet of Lipton’s beefy onion recipe soup & dip mix
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 cups of dry red wine (Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz or Zinfandel will do)
2 cups of water

Rustic Mashed Potatoes:
2 pounds of red potatoes (cut into quarters-with skin on)
1 ¾ cups of heavy cream
Pinch of coarse sea salt
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 ounces of cream cheese
¼ cup of chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Paprika & Parsley:
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (cut into halves)
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste


How to prepare this recipe
Red Wine-Braised Oxtails:
1. Sprinkle oxtails with salt & pepper on both sides; refrigerate meat for at least 4 hours
2. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in Dutch oven on medium-high heat
3. Sear oxtails on both sides for 3 minutes
4. While oxtails are searing, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat
5. Add ginger, onion, garlic, celery & carrots; sauté vegetables for 6 minutes
6. Preheat oven to 365 degrees
6. Return to Dutch oven by adding wine, water, sautéed vegetables & herbs
7. Combine Lipton’s beefy onion mix, paprika, cayenne pepper & curry powder; add mixture to Dutch oven.
8. Bake for 3 hours mixing contents every hour.

Rustic Mashed Potatoes:
1. Place potatoes in large pot (8-quart or larger) on medium-high heat & add enough water to submerge them.
2. Add pinch of salt, cover pot & bring contents to a rolling boil-boil for 25 minutes
Tip: Check tenderness of potatoes by piercing with fork or knife; if it is easily penetrated potatoes are done
3. Drain potatoes & place back on burner on low heat
4. Begin to mash potatoes while adding garlic
5. Pour in heavy cream while adding cream cheese, dollop by dollop, until potatoes are smooth
6. Add salt & pepper to taste, serve topped with parsley

Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic-Paprika & Parsley:
1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan on medium-high heat & add tomatoes
2. Sprinkle tomatoes with paprika, salt & pepper
3. Shake & shift pan frequently to sear tomatoes without over cooking them-aim for a browned appearance
4. Reduce to low heat and simmer for two minutes
5. Serve alongside mashed potatoes with parsley


The story behind this recipe
“Who wants a taste,” coarsely asked my grandma to my famished family in the living room.

I can recall the very first time approaching the dish: my little feet marched quickly toward the counter to witness the uncovering of the scalding roasting pan which unleashed a vortex of scrumptious, rich odors that were on the verge of being palpable. In my eyes this dish was always a culinary-delicacy boasting exotic ingredients and skillful preparation. From the fall-off-the-bone chunks of oxtail meat to the thick red wine sauce lathered upon the rustic mashed potatoes. However, the meal had been passed down through 4 generations of my family with its origins in the dark days of Westernized Society: American slavery. Unappetizing scraps of animals were discarded from slave owner’s households, including oxtails, which became the basis of many slave’s culinary staples.

“Remember the meat is very tough—so we have to braise it for a few more hours,” says a gentle voice from behind me.

The meat was tough, extremely tough so patient preparation was integral to creating a highly appetizing as well as edible end result. No wonder it would be considered a ‘throw-away’ meat, especially since there was such a minuscule amount of flesh covering the bone which was enclosed by a gelatinous layer of fat. These culinary nuisances made the meal that much more remarkable to me. The input was a ghastly cut of beef mainly composed of the cow’s tail bone. However, a lengthy braising in a mouthwatering liquid concoction transfixed the meat into a gastronomic ‘Mona Lisa.’ Pale-pink bony disks now appeared with intense hues of brown from dark amber to espresso. As the finished product was transferred to a serving bowl tender morsels of meat fell, splattering the viscous sauce around the walls of the pan. It was one of those meals that left you full and warm yet craving another generous helping.

“Your eyes are bigger than your belly, boy,” muttered my grandma as I went from stuffed to sick.

About kasim_hardawaykc

2014 Travels: Chicago, IL Cloud Gate

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