So here I am sitting outside under our mesquite tree with enough birdsong in the air to fill Disney Hall. It’s grey and overcast and my prayers to Zeus have been answered — rain, precious rain, on the way. It’s a rare occurrence in Palm Springs and in this drought, boy do we need it. It’s a perfect day for the oxtail stew that’s slow cooking in the oven. The aroma of barley and hops is wafting its way outside through the open sliding glass doors. There’s nothing like a Guinness and a glass of red wine to de-glaze meat.
I finally pulled into the old Mexican market I’d passed a million times to check it out. The shy, friendly butcher had a good selection of offal, the parts you don’t see on display in the big markets. The oxtails I picked were neatly bundled up in rose colored paper, money changed hands and a friendly adios confirmed I’d shop here for meat again.
The food we eat is fresh, organic and bought locally at the certified Farmers’ Market that sets up every Saturday morning in the Camelot Theatre parking lot. Its close to our house and sometimes Bill, my darling husband and I walk there or take our bikes. My bike is equipped with cool saddle bags and a front basket to carry the kale, lettuce, chard and spinach I use to make salads, juice and morning smoothies. We’ve been eating organic for many years now and eliminated everything processed from the pantry after watching the Documentary Food Matters on Netflix it was an eye opener.
Have you seen it?
It’s an education on industrial food and the crap that’s passed onto the consumer as food. So we do our best to buy locally and eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, seeds and nuts. I am the main carnivore in the house. Bill appreciates a fine tasting bird and once in a while, red meat. Like today, there’s no way he wont eat this oxtail stew.
- 5 and 1/2 pounds oxtail , ask the butcher to chop it in chunks
- olive oil
- sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 shallots diced
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 3 ribs of celery chopped
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons of flour or arrowroot
- 2 tablespoons rich tomato puree (paste)
- 1 cup of organic beef stock and more if needed during cooking
- 1 large bottle of guinness
- 3/4 cup red wine
- splash of Worcestershire sauce ( optional ) but recommended
- Preheat oven to 425 and place a large baking pan in to heat.
- In the heated pan add the oxtail pieces and coat in olive oil sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes or more till nice and brown.
- In a large ovenproof pot on the stove, under medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the onions and shallots and cook till nicely browned then add garlic, carrots and celery and cook for 10 minutes stirring frequently
- add the herbs and bay leaf and cook another 10 minutes
- Remove oxtails from oven and reduce oven temp to 325 pour any meat juice thats in the pan into a jug and set aside.
- When the veg are done add the flour or whatever thickener you choose and stir well to combine, cook for a few minutes then add the wine and stout and reserved meat juices.
- add the oxtail and stir well, then add the stock and season with salt and pepper. add the herbs and bayleaf, bring to boil then cover and transfer pot to the oven and cook for about 4 hours or so, giving it a stir every hour, cook till the meat is completely tender and falls off the bone.
- At the end of cooking add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and stir.