Friday, 21 June 2013

Rabo de Toro - oxtail with chocolate and beer

I fell for oxtail already in Nerja. The flavour of both meat and the sauce was more intense than that of Cordoba's version, but The Gentleman found it "too vinegary" (?!) The texture of Cordoba's version was more superior, though. My take combines the best of both dishes. I think so, anyway.

It's fairly impossible to get anything too photogenic out of this lump, but it does provide some seriously luscious feasts for the taste buds. The sauce, also thickened by the texture of the oxtail itself is, in its meaty depth and sweetness probably the best thing about this dish.

If I had no manners whatsoever (or didn't exercise any self-censorship) then this is when I'd confess to actually licking the bottom of the pan to get to every last bit of it. These slightly more exotic body parts don't really require any special talent so there's really no need to be afraid. They do take a bit of time, though.

For three

3 large oxtails
3 dl strong stock
3 dl chocolate stout (mine was Young's but I'm sure you could use any stout and add some chocolate)
4 smallish onions
1 parsnip ( about 200 g)
2 carrots (total weight about 200 g)
10 allspice peppercorns
3 bayleaves
1 star anise

Heat the oven to 150 °. Lightly flour the meat and shake off the excess (this helps the meat to brown and crisp nicely, but it also helps thicken the sauce. Fry in a mixture of oil and butter until nicely browned. Add roughly chopped onions and bayleave - let soften a bit. Then add carrot and parsnip, equally roughly chopped. Pour in the stock and beer. Add star anise and bring to boil. Transfer into the oven and cook (covered) for 3-4 hours until the meat is cooked to a point of falling off the bone. Don't worry if you leave it in the oven for even longer  - the liquid will make sure they meat stays juicy. Lift the meat out and keep warm. Run the remains through a sieve, pushing all the bits through back into the pan (don't forget to scrape the puré outside the sieve too!) The sauce should be thick enough now, but if that isn't the case, keep cooking over fairly high heat until it starts reducing. Add a knob of butter and serve with oxtail. Serve with potatos or steamed veg. Ours was (in a very non-Spanish  manner) accompanied with mushroom risotto - recipe for this one in tomorrow's blog!

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