Oxtails and other bits


So the above picture was my dinner tonight. Spanish style oxtails braised with Chorizo and mash with chives and sour cream. A nice glass of red wine to top that off. Forgive the quality as it was taken with my cell phone.

I have never eaten Oxtail in my whole life. Never cooked it for that matter either. My husband had eaten oxtail in some place in NYC after a Yankee game with some friends. Of course that was jerk style of some sort. Since I am taking a Spanish Tapas class I thought it would be fun to try a Spanish recipe. I also love chorizo. Find me a new way to cook or eat it and I am happy. So this was a great way to try it. I figured if I or the kids didn’t like the oxtail there was chorizo to eat for a protein. Evil plan I know.

I found the recipe on Epicurious.com and had found another blog where someone took wonderful pictures of their cooking adventure with this dish. The reviews were good so I was up for the challenge. But was there a challenge? No this was  no brainer and I even took a nap while it cooked in the oven.  I honestly stress more trying to remember which of my pots was oven proof and what I would cook it in as I felt my dutch oven was to small.

It is time consuming and so for me cooking this on a lazy Sunday afternoon while watching football was just perfect. I’ve watched enough cooking shows to know how the meat should have looked and how tender it should have been but I was shocked how delicious this was. I mean really full of flavor cut of meat. So good in fact I really do wonder what other cuts of meat do we ignore and not use because we are squeamish about them?

Spanish Style Oxtails Braised With Chorizo

  • 6 lb (2- to 3-inch-pieces) meaty oxtails
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 lb mild Spanish chorizo (spicy cured pork sausage)
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28- to 32-oz) can whole tomatoes in purée, coarsely chopped (including purée) in a food processor
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • Special equipment: an 8- to 9-quart heavy pot

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pat oxtails dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown oxtails in batches without crowding, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer as browned to a bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.

Remove and discard casing from chorizo, then finely chop sausage in food processor.

Cook chorizo, onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf in fat in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Add oxtails with any juices accumulated in bowl and chopped tomatoes (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat) and bring to a boil.

Cover pot and braise oxtails in lower third of oven, turning once or twice, until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Skim fat from sauce, then stir in parsley, cilantro, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste


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