Wednesday, November 29, 2006
I’ve been working on this oxtail stew for a few days now; I season the oxtail, about a kilo, then let it marinate in balsamic vinegar, kitul treacle and minced garlic, adding a tiny bit of olive oil to bind it. Then I brown it, removing it, and bring it a boil in a large heavy pot, with more than a liter of water, skimming off the scum several times, then let it simmer for more than 24 hours. Oxtail can take that, that’s the beauty of the all that work the cow’s tail does over the years! It falls of the bone, almost, but it still holds together. But it melt in your mouth. Once that’s well simmered, reduce it, and let it sit in the fridge; its good for more than a few days.
And then, each day, you can have a bit of it, with a different sauce or glaze. The day before I tried a mango/tamarind/wasabi glaze, which was okay, but I thought it over powered the flavor of the meat.
So today I tried a papaya/white wine sauce and it was terrific!
To make this, I pureed papaya cubes in the blender, adding a little water, and about half bottle of white wine (mine was a random bottle of Pinot Grigio), and then reduced that in a heavy pan, for about 15-20 mins, adding a little salt, and some sugar, just a little to adjust the tartness upwards, right at the end. The reduction gets a little frothy, a little bubbly, like strawberry jam in the middle of a omelet. That’s the consistency of the papaya I guess; so you can’t really thicken it enough to be a glaze.
But that’s okay!
Now spoon it over the stringy, succulently meaty Oxtail stew, and the smooth, soft tang of the papaya, deepened by the wine reduction, blends in wonderfully to the space between the strands of taste.
Or, in other words, I had a good dinner. I wish you the same.