OK.. we're on day 2 of this recipe. I went to the store and rebought all the aromatics to make the sauce. I'll be posting a rewritten recipe at the bottom so I won't bother listing them now. Skipping ahead to how the dish tasted, well.. here's how my conversation went with Justyn.
Justyn: MM GOOD!
Me: ... *snapping pics*
Justyn: You're gonna love this dish.
Me: Whatever, I don't think I'll ever make this dish EVAR again.
Justyn: Just wait until you taste it.
Me: *tasting the oxtail* Holy crap! This is good. K I change my mind, I'll make it again.
This was an important lesson for me. Don't give up just because the you don't think it'll work out. Patience paid off big time! Oh yeah, and I had to throw in a pic of the rice cooker my parents got for me for Christmas. This thing rocks!
Anyway, here's the recipe.
Chinese Braised Oxtail Stew
*You will need to split all the ingrediants except the oxtails, green onion & mushrooms in half*
5 to 6 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces, fat trimmed
2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
4 cups low-sodium beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup dark or regular soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 star anise, broken into pieces
2 whole cloves
4 lemongrass stalks (bottom white parts only plz!)
1 bunch scallion
1 big knob of skinned ginger
4 cloves of garlic
4 Thai chili peppers
10 ounces quartered, fresh or dried whole shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, re-hydrated if dried
1 lime zested & cut into wedges
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving.
1) Preheat oven to 300
2) Rough chop aromatics (lemongrass, 3 scallions, ginger, garlic, chili peppers).
3) Mix the beef stock, soy sauce & brown sugar together and set aside.
4) Wash & dry the oxtails well.
5) Heat pot with veg oil (medium high heat or higher will work).
6) Put the oxtails into the pan and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove them and set aside in an ovenproof casserole dish.
7) Add a touch more veg oil and the aromatics. Cook for about 5 minutes or until your house smells lovely.
8) Add the rice wine and cook until almost syrupy.
9) Add the beef broth, soy sauce & brown sugar mixture. Bring everything to a boil and then strain mixture. Pour half of the mixture and save it for Day 2 of cooking.
10) Add the strained mixture to the oxtails and cover the casserole dish with foil.
11) Put the casserole dish into the oven for 1.5 hours. After 1.5 hours, flip the oxtails and cook for another 1.5 hours.
12) Remove the dish and let everything cool before putting it in the fridge overnight.
13) The next day remove the solidified fat.
14) Preheat oven to 300.
15) Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish & the other half of the mixture you saved.
16) Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
17) Bump oven temp up to 400 and remove the foil from the casserole dish.
18) Put it back in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
19) Stir everything around and cook for another 15 minutes.
That's it! I really wish I didn't have to double up the sauce making but you really need it. There is not enough sauce left after the first day of cooking.