Saturday, October 4, 2014

Making Oxtail with Omar and Brian

So, we decided that oxtail is a great recipe that can be prepared as a traditional comfort food, but also in a gourmet manner. This works for both of our styles.

Omar took the initiative to see where we could get oxtail locally, and after seeing the oxtail butchered incorrectly, we decided to take the trek out to the urban setting of Brooklyn. Brian and Omar find themselves at the Green Acres Market, the local grocery store on Utica and Church. The supermarket has its own meat locker with butchers in the back ready to give you the precise cut you’d like, perfectly trimmed.

There, you can pick up all of the spices you need. Jerk seasoning, caramel browning, all spice, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, tomato paste, onion, adobo, scallions, habanero, and you can use tap water.

1.     Clean the meat and dry it well
2.     Season with everything (always season your meat before cooking so the flavor can spread throughout)
3.     Chop onions and scallions, and add to the pot with the meat and put on low heat with the lid on.
4.     Once it looks like the meat has begun to cook, and the juices from the meat and onion have been absorbed, add a tablespoon of tomato paste, and a little bit of water (about ¾ of a cup). This is just to add moisture, you don’t want to boil the meat or dilute the seasoning. It is purely for adding moisture.
5.     Throughout the process, if you need to add more spices, feel free to do so, but constantly taste about every 30 minutes. Add a little water whenever it seems to be getting dry, but keep it at a constant simmer. You will have to keep adjusting the burner every time you add more water because it will lower the temperature of the dish temporarily.
6.     Once the meat begins to separate from the bone and is tender to the touch, let it go for another 20 minutes or so without adding any more water. This will reduce the juices that are left and give you a great sauce that is full of rich flavor.

TIP OF THE DAY: Always read the labels on spice mixes so you can see what’s in it, and what you might want to add more of to get the flavor exactly where you want it.

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