As I promised, when I found my pressure cooker, I would make my mother’s oxtails. Voila, my pressure cooker!
For years I was deathly afraid of pressure cookers. This was probably due to my father exploding one while trying to make homemade wine. No one was hurt but we were cleaning the ceiling and walls for weeks.
So, no pressure cooker for me until Abdoulaye, the cook, insisted that most West African meat cuts needed a brief spell in a pressure cooker in order to tenderize them. Of course he was right and as long as I didn’t have to use it, fine by me.
Well little by little, as we worked together, he taught me the proper use and advantages of a pressure cooker. And today I use one, still with caution, but with only an occasional cringe.
The recipe I am using today is not exactly my mother’s but it’s in my mother’s style. I threw in a few extras.
Texas Oxtails with Beans
3 lbs of oxtails
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery branches, chopped
1 inch of ginger, minced
2 carrots, coarsely diced
3 parsnips, coarsely diced
2 large tomatoes, coarsely diced
2 cups of beef broth
2 tsp allspice
2 cans of butter or cannellini or great northern beans
Brown the oxtails in the olive oil in a pressure cooker. Remove from pan and add shallots, onions, ginger, garlic, and celery. Saute until soft. Add carrots, parsnips, tomatoes, beer, broth, salt, pepper and allspice. Stir to blend well.
Stir the oxtails into the sauce , put on the lid and the little bobble on top. When the bobble begins to swing medium fast, lower the flame to keep it at that speed and cook for 45 minutes. Allow to depressurize.
Drain the beans and put them in a pan. Add some sauce from the oxtails and cook for about 5 minutes. Serve with the oxtails and a sprinkle of parsley.
Beverage suggestion: Ale