Friday, 23 September 2011

Recipe for oxtail

From time to time I find myself inventing dishes - see the recipe for cous cous I published here on Sept 13 2011. Here is one for oxtail which I pass on because it is different from most you find online:
  • (in my case)go to the dentist in Lanark because the shop for oxtail is right next door. Or go to the excellent butcher in Moffat
  • Hugh Black & Sons in Lanark also sells fish, soup and other things. Buy a carton of their homemade lentil soup - a smooth yellow cream.
  • 2 large Spanish mild onions
  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic
  • sunflower oil
  • large heavy casserole dish
  • bay leaf
  • pepper
Switch your oven on to whatever heat keeps things cooking slowly. This kind of dish tastes better the day after so ideally you are cooking this eg in the evening to eat the next day. It took me about 20 minutes from start to finish. Brown the onions cut into 4 chunks, the cloves of garlic (peeled and halved) and the oxtail ( I got two packs which is enough to feed 4 )in the sunflower oil for quite a long time, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, turning everything regularly, enough to make the oxtail brown all over. Add the carton of soup and some boiling water if necessary to cover, the bayleaf and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring back to the boil for 5 minutes on the hob before putting into the oven. I left my oxtail in for over 3 hours at 100 deg and left it to cool in the oven overnight. In the morning, I brought it to the boil again at breakfast time and put it back in at 150 deg for another 80 minutes. Ideally, the meat should be meltingly tender, fall off the bone.

Now: what carbs are you going to eat with this? May I suggest you take a pack of mixed microwaveable vegetables past their sell by date, brought from a fridge 300 miles away. Steam these forgetting that this will release the two pats of flavoured butter through the holes into the steaming water. Drain into a frying pan to conserve this savoury liquor, some of which you can add to the oxtail if it needs topping up. Now: put the cooked shredded mixed veg into their flavoured buttery cooking liquor and use the rest of the cous cous from the packet opened on Sept 13. Stir well and leave covered for a few minutes until ready to eat.

For your fresh green veg you will find two rather limp courgettes, homegrown by someone in Moffat bought from the greengrocers next to the butcher. Boil them, drain and serve.

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