I’m from Northern Michigan originally. I grew up in a great little town called Gaylord (The Alpine Village) which is located about 50 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan’s lower peninsula to it’s upper. Standard fare at our dinner table consisted of a meat, potato and vegetable, these three items in many iterations made up the bulk of our diet. Of course we had the occasional fish fry, lasagna or spaghetti dinner but for the most part we consumed the holy trinity mentioned above. My mom did all of the cooking and although her cooking style was simple, the food she created always made our taste buds tickle.
What we did not have at our table however were any of the more “exotic” cuts of meat. Back in the “early day’s” (that’s the 70′s and 80′s for me) that “exotica” that I so love today was considered scrap, it’s sad but no wonder it never found it’s way to our table. Flipping over a roasted bird and digging out the oysters was something I never saw happen, the Popes nose wasn’t even a consideration, that was off limits, cut away before roasting or given as a scrap to the family dog. Beef tongue, flap meat, skirt steak and hangers were unheard of, they were cuts the butcher took home or sold for next to nothing to needy families. I have to assume that some people were in the know and took advantage of these lowly cuts that were often so inexpensive you could almost consider them free. Sadly I missed that boat because some of these cut’s are no longer affordable today and in some cases are considered prime carrying a price tag to go along. I’m always on the hunt for something delicious and affordable, to that end I will continue to bring some items to the SoupAday table I’m sure you will enjoy as long as you can step outside the box a bit.
Today’s offering is a perfect example of what was once a lowly cut of meat that was often thrown away. Oxtail is now relatively expensive at roughly $4.99 a lb. The cool part is can be elevated to a higher level than an ordinary chuck roast could ever attain. My mom is gone now but I’m sure she would have loved this recipe, I hope you do.
Large cutting board
5 lbs oxtail
1 large red onion (chopped)
3 large carrots (peeled/chopped)
3 large stalks celery (chopped)
4 large potatoes (washed/quartered)
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 leek (cleaned and chopped)
2 large cloves garlic (smashed)
2 shallots (sliced)
1 bottle dry red wine
5 cups beef stock
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 Tbs corn starch
1.5 cups water
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees
In a large plastic bag, combine the salt, onion powder and garlic powder with the flour. Dredge the oxtails in the seasoned flour and set aside. Heat the Dutch oven to medium high and add the olive oil and butter. Before the butter browns add the oxtails to the pot and brown all sides until they are golden brown. Remove the oxtails and set aside..
Add the prepared vegetables to the Dutch oven excluding the potatoes, reduce the heat to medium low and sauté them for about 15 minutes or until they soften. Put the potatoes back before adding the oxtails.
Place the oxtails on top of the vegetables and potatoes. Add the beef stock, bottle of wine, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and cover. Put the Dutch oven in the pre-heated oven and cook undisturbed for 4 hours. When finished, remove the oxtails, potatoes and carrots. Strain the remaining liquid and thicken into a light gravy with 1 Tbs corn starch and 1 .5 cups of water. Serve immediately.
*Serving suggestion: Fresh watercress sautéed in olive oil and garlic.
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