Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oxtail with Polenta

I had never cooked oxtail before. I had it a couple times this year in different restaurants and had been thinking about giving it a try.
First, get over your fear of pressure cookers and get one. I just got an electric one from Cuisinart  and I am in love with it. It is very safe and the lid will not open if there is still pressure inside. Second, find a good butcher. I found the coolest butcher shop in LA!  Coolest because they are two girls, selling locally produced, humane and sustainably raised meats. If you are in LA, you should check Lindy & Grundy!
So here is how the story goes:
3 pounds of oxtail.
1 medium onion, chopped.
5 garlic cloves, minced.
3 tomatoes, chopped.
half a bottle of red wine.
3 clovers, 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks.
1 branch of rosemary, 1 large sprig of thyme,
1 bay leaf,
olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
2 bunches of watercress, chopped.

                                          Don't forget to wear your matching flip flops

Trim the fat of the oxtail, season it with salt and pepper and brown it on a heavy bottom pan.
In the pressure cooker, saute the onions, and add the garlic, the tomatoes, stir a little and add the herbs and spices. Add the oxtail, and the red wine and sprinkle a little more salt. Lock the lid in place and set on high pressure for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, release the pressure valve and when the steam is out, open the lid, add half the watercress (1 bunch),  give it a couple stirs, check the salt and close the lid again and set another 30 minutes on high pressure. (Don't forget to engage the valve back to pressure)
Do the same procedure to open the lid again. Remove the oxtail from the pan and transfer to a plate.

Pour all the sauce in a bowl and put it in the fridge for an hour or so, (I like to do that so the fat in the sauce hardens and I am able to remove all the fat on the surface of the bowl. I do that to make a leaner dish, if you like richer, you can skip that step.) Remove the bones and fatty parts from the oxtails, pull all the meat and set aside.

Transfer to a pan along with the lean sauce and adjust the salt. Add 1/2 a bunch  of watercress at the very end and serve hot over polenta made with chicken stock and milk and finished with a little butter, half a cup of "Lamb Chopper" cheese and the rest of the watercress.

                      Looks great and tastes even better!