I really miss seasonal fruits and vegetables that even if not local, at least come from the same country I’m living in. This is not to say that I’m opposed to buying imported produce, I’d just like a choice that’s not limited by considerations of maximum profit for the purveyors. We have some wonderful agricultural states; California, Florida, Washington State, etc., but apparently South American imports, which don’t even produce the best quality, are adored by our suppliers. And Peru must be giving the stuff away because I see their stickers all over the produce section 😦
Back in the day, when we were running in and out of Ireland, I bought matching wine and water glasses from Waterford. Unfortunately, many were broken in storage but I still have a few, maybe enough to set a table for eight. So that’s okay. The pomegranate from south of the border was ruby red but not very sweet. California has nice pomegranates.
On the other hand, I bought a couple of Bosc pears from Washington State that were very good and would have been perfect with a Brie de Meaux and a glass of the Veuve. Sigh.
Anyway, there were some oxtails in the freezer and since they were on top of everything else, I thought why not?
I was determined to do something easy and Asian, so I gathered my ideas and ingredients about me. My pantry is almost as bad as my freezer. Overkill. But that means I can pretty much satisfy most of my foreign food cravings 🙂
This is really easy. If you want, you can brown the oxtails before hand but it’s not necessary and I couldn’t be bothered. All you have to do is cut up and mix the ingredients, put everything into a decent pressure cooker and it’s over in 30-35 minutes.
I used to be afraid of pressure cookers but my cook Abdoulaye taught me to use them safely and insisted that I buy a deluxe model because he liked pressure cookers and knew he would get it when I moved on to another country 😀
In the meantime, saute some shallots and mixed mini pepper slices in butter, adding and wilting handfuls of spinach inside and you’re good to go.
Asian Braised Oxtails
2 1/2-3 lbs oxtails
1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
8 thin slices of fresh ginger, skin on
2 star anise
2 sticks cinnamon
Peel from one mandarin, cut into strips
Mix the soy sauce, sake, brown sugar and water together and set aside. Place the oxtails in the bottom of a pressure cooker. Sprinkle the scallions, ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks and mandarin peel over the oxtails. Pour the soy sauce mixture over all.
Put the top on the pressure cooker and seal well. Put the little bobble thing over the vent in the middle of the pressure cooker top. Turn the gas up to high and when the bobble starts to swing back and forth, decrease the heat until the bobble continues a gentle swing. Cook for 30-35 minutes, remove from flame and set aside until the pressure button, located at the top of the handle, sinks completely to the bottom.
Open the pressure cooker and place the oxtails in a platter. Boil the liquid down (no top) until it is reduced by half, then pour over the oxtails.