This will be my second post this week on a recipe, but trust me, this is so worth it. I've written before about how braising meat for hours is my favorite way to cook. It can turn the toughest pieces of meat into the most tender and delicious meals. This recipe is for braised oxtail, a meal my dad has only started making for us recently as we've gotten more adventurous with our food as we grow older. My dad's grandmother used to make it for him, and it's an extremely easy recipe, starting with French culinary classics of a mirepoix which I learned how to do in cooking class.
We started at noon, chopping onions, carrots, celery, and a bit of garlic for the base. We heated up some olive oil in my dad's copper pot (it's bigger than mine) and browned each seasoned oxtail first, flipping so each side got some color. We took them out to rest after twenty minutes or so in the pot, and tossed the mirepoix into the pan next. We sauteed them until the vegetables were soft and the onions see-through. Then, we topped with a red wine to scrape off all of the good bits at the bottom. My dad poured the softened mirepoix and wine into a blender and mixed until it was thick and saucy. We returned to oxtail back to the pot, and drenched it with the sauce from the blender to cook for at least six hours.
My dad typically serves this warm dish with pearl cous cous, which gives such a great texture to the meat that falls off the bone. It's a dish I don't need a knife for, just some crusty bread for dipping any leftover sauce. I had two pieces of oxtail and a healthy serving of cous cous and I was extremely full. It's a kind of fullness that stays with you and keeps you warm in winter; I can imagine eating this dish with it snowing outside. It's so delicious that if I ever had to chose my last meal, this would be it.
This upcoming weekend is a Friendsgiving (Thanksgiving with friends) and I'm extremely excited to make my mom's baked mac n cheese recipe. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of good food, good wine (Beaujolais Nouveau!), and good company. I love spending the day with family, but having a chance to spend the same holiday with friends is twice as great! A few years back, my mom gave me my own cook book for Christmas via Taste Book. You can see the virtual version of mine here. I absolutely love the binder and use it to remember all of my favorite recipes. When my mom gave it to me, she included all of our Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes in it, and I continue to add my favorite family recipes to it. Lately, since I've been cooking and photographing my meals for the blog, I decided to add my new favorite recipes to my Taste Book, including this oxtail recipe! I love this because I can access the recipes in my book, on the app on my iPad, or at a friends house on the computer. It also makes sharing really easy. To this day, it's been one of my favorite gifts (that and my KitchenAid mixer!).