Tuesday 26 April 2011

Delicious April 2011 - Braised Oxtail with Orecchiette

Hmmm...I don't seem to be making much from my old Delicious magazines lately. At the end of last year I had planned on making something from a different magazine at least once a week but I really haven't been doing that. So I will have to start doing that again starting next week. In fact I might see if I can find a nice easy soup recipe for tonight. Something that I have everything for...hmm that might be a bit harder. Oh well maybe find something to make for tomorrow night and I can eat some of my multitude of leftovers for dinner tonight. 

Issue #103 had a number of things in it that I was interested in making. The first was Marmalade-braised red cabbage that I had planned on serving with a pork belly roast. I really like cooked cabbage and am always on the lookout for different ways to cook it. However, the price of a decent-looking marmalade really put me off. I don't like marmalade to eat that much and I only needed 1/4 cup for the recipe so I wasn't all that interested in spending money on a largish jar of something that was just going to sit in the fridge and not get used again for goodness knows how long. 

I then considered a couple of different meals from the Tuesday Night Cooking section, Fried Haloumi with Chorizo & Cherry Tomato Salsa was the first. It sounded so good and easy with a bit of spice to it. However I make similar things frequently so it wasn't really something new for me. The other that I considered was the Welsh Rarebit Steak. Interesting combination and very easy to make. Although, when using a lovely piece of eye-fillet from my favourite butcher I tend not to do much with it other than pan-frying it to medium-rare rubbed with a bit of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper as I really prefer to savour it without toying around with it too much. 

I really want to make something special this weekend. Not for any particular reason. I didn't have company coming but just wanted to spend some time making something new, something slow, something that would be luscious and a bit decadent. While some of the desserts and/or cakes featured in this issue would have fit into all those categories I really wanted something savoury, a meal. That is when I decided on Guillaume Brahimi's Braised Oxtail with Orecchiette. Oh, and what a good decision it was. It took me two days to make it and while it took a while to make it certainly wasn't intensive. It definitely was luscious and decadent though. The richness that all the red wine in the dish made it perfect. The carrot puree in it added some sweetness. All round it was just a perfect meal. I made half the recipe and will get three serves out of it. So a full recipe would be perfect for a dinner party, and it is definitely show off food. I didn't have the orecchiette pasta to go with it so decided that I would use the pasta press attachment for my KitchenAid and make some fresh pasta to go with this fabulous sauce. This is definitely one to try.

Braised Oxtail with Orecchiette

Serves 6 
  • 100ml olive oil 
  • 2 kg oxtail pieces 
  • 100 g unsalted butter 
  • 300 g mirepoix (1 each celery stalk, carrot and onion finely chopped) 
  • 1/2 bunch thyme 
  • 2 fresh bay leaves 
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns (I only had black peppercorns) 
  • 2 roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 L (8 cups) red wine (I used a Shiraz) 
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 500 g orecchiette
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 70 g Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved (I finely grated)
  • Flat-leaf parsley, leaves very thinly sliced to garish (I only had curly parsley)
  • Heat 75 ml oil over high heat and add oxtail in batches cooking until browned on all sides. 
  • Melt butter, in the same pan, add the mirepoix  and cook, stirring, until golden. 
  • Return oxtail to pan with thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomato and wine. Bring to the boil and then reduce to barely simmering. 
  • Cover and continue to cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until meat is falling from the bones.
  • Allow to cool then remove meat from bones and keep separate to stock.
  • Cover and refrigerate stock overnight. 
  • Place sliced carrots into a saucepan and cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quite soft. 
  • Drain carrots then puree in a food processor and pass through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until required.
  • Remove as much fat as possible from the top of the stock and then heat until just liquid enough to pass through a sieve into a clean pan.  Draining as well as possible.
  • Bring to the boil and reduce to about 1 cup. Reduce heat to low and add oxtail meat and carrot puree and warm through.
  • Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of water with the remaining oil and some salt. Drain well.
  • Add the sauce to the pasta, season with salt and white pepper, and stir gently to coat the pasta with the sauce. 
  • Garnish with cheese and parsley just before serving. 

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