Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cooking: Day 1 Chinese Braised Oxtail Stew

I have been craving slow cooked food lately.. something with bones & something unctuous. What better than oxtails? Well.... let's start by going to Lucky to get my ingrediants. I went straight to the produce section to get the lemongrass, lime, scallion and ginger. Whenever I go to Lucky, I always have a set path.. first produce, meat and then canned goods. When I got to the meat department, I discovered that they did not have oxtails despite me seeing them a couple days ago. WTF? Is everyone making oxtail stew or something? So, I started my way back to produce to put everything back. Yes, that means tearing my bags open and dumping the contents back where they belong. How embarrassing!

I knew Marina Foods (which I like to refer to as the aZn market) would have what I needed at a much lower price. I grabbed everything I needed crossing my fingers in hopes that they would have oxtails which they, thankfully, did. I also found the cloves & star anise as well. Yay! I got home in a hurry to sear off the oxtails. After searing and removing them, I added the aromatics (garlic, ginger, lemongrass and Thai chillies). I deglazed the dutch oven with some Chinese rice wine and let that reduce before adding in the soy sauce, brown sugar, beef broth & lime zest. I let that mixture come to a boil before adding the oxtails back in and sticking them into the oven.

After an hour and a half passed, I flipped the oxtails and set the timer for another hour and a half. Yeah, this recipe takes FOREVER! After the last hour and a half, I took the dutch oven out of the oven & had Justyn help me strain the sauce. UGH!! Look at how little sauce I was left with. This means I will have to make another batch of sauce tomorrow to compensate. I tried a little bit of the oxtail to see where it was at in terms of seasoning and tenderness. Yes, it was tender but HOLY SALT Batman.. I will have to add more sugar to my sauce tomorrow to balance things out. I really do hate when a recipe doesn't turn out the way it was intended but I figure I can help others out there to change the recipe so it works out in the end.

Anyway, here are the pictures I took after everything. Tomorrow is Day 2!

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