Thursday, August 18, 2011

Daube of Oxtail Recipe

A daube is a French culinary term which describes a method of cooking meat very slowly. Serves 4.

4 lbs. oxtails
3 onions, quartered
3 carrots, sliced
2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup brandy (optional but nice)
4 oz. lean salt pork
2 T. cooking oil
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice
1 cup beef broth or stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. thyme
Grated rind of 1/2 orange
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper

Step 1. Put oxtails into a deep stainless steel, pottery or glass bowl. Add the onions, carrots and garlic, and cover with the stock or broth, wine and brandy. Cover and let marinate for 4 or 5 hours in the refrigerator.

Step 2. Cut the salt pork into small dice and put into a deep, heavy pan with oil. Sauté until the pork bits are browned, stirring occasionally.

Step 3. Drain the oxtail from the marinade, reserving marinade. Put meat in hot fat and cook, browning on all sides, a few pieces at a time. Don’t crowd the pan. Set brown pieces aside. Add drained vegetables to pan and brown those until wilted. Return the meat to the pan and pour in the marinade. If the marinade doesn’t cover the oxtail, add enough water to barely cover. Add the bay leaf, cloves, allspice, thyme, orange rind, salt and pepper and stir.

Step 4. Stretch a double thickness of paper toweling over the pan, cover tightly with the lid, and simmer over very low heat until the meat is very tender. This will take 3 to 4 hours.

Step 5. This dish must be cooked very slowly. Be sure to taste and adjust the salt and pepper before serving. And no, the sauce is not thickened. Serve on noodles.

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