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Category Archives: Red Meat

Lamb Sausage Ragu with Conchiglie


(serves 3)
This is a speedy (relatively) and convenient method of making a Lamb Ragu Pasta that makes no compromises on taste. I avoid the arduous task of slow-cooking mutton by using the minced meat from lamb sausages. In fact I find the starch, fat, herbs and spices of the sausage actually make for a better pasta sauce. The result is a delicious wholesome and flavourful meat sauce that can’t be beat.
 
Ingredients Lamb Conchiglie 1200
  1. Lamg Sausage (350g)
  2. Brown or White Mushrooms (100g)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Garlic(1 bulb = 12 cloves)
  5. Conchiglie (3 cups)
  6. Oxo Stock Cube (2)
  7. Red Wine (1 cup)
  8. Turmeric
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Oregano

Preparation

  1. Peel and then cut your onion into 6 wedges. Then slice them coarsely and pan fry in a large pan with some oil on low heat.
  2. In the meanwhile, slice your lamb sausages lengthwise on one side and peel off the skin. Place all the minced lamb in a bowl with half a cup of water. Mix well to loosen up the meat.
  3. Remove the onion from the pan, turn up the heat, add some oil and throw in the meat. Break up the clumps of meat as the water boils away. When the meat begins to brown, return the onion plus any drippings to the pan and continue stir-frying for another minute.
  4. Next add 1 cup of wine. Then add 2 oxo stock cubes (I normally use beef but you can also use lamb) dissolved in 2 cups of hot water.
  5. Peel your garlic bulb and throw the individual cloves into the pan. Quarter each mushroom into and add them to the pan as well.
  6. Add 1t sugar, 1t turmeric, 1t coriander seed powder and 1T oregano. Turn down the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes to1 hour – until the sour taste of the wine is gone. Add water as needed such that you end up with a light sauce. You can make the sauce ahead of time, just keep it in the fridge til its needed.
  7. Boil your pasta in a pot of water with a dash of olive oil until it is about 2/3 cooked. Strain and then add your pasta to the pan and stir fry until the pasta is al dente. Add water as required such that you end up with a thick sauce just as the pasta is done. Splash on 4T of olive oil after turning the fire off.
  8. Sprinkle on some black pepper and perhaps some parsley after plating.

Notes

  • You can use 3/4 cup red wine plus 1/4 cup Marsala wine for a more authentic Italian taste – remember to skip the 1t of sugar in step 6.
  • Conchiglie a.k.a. seashell pasta is the best choice of pasta for this kind of sauce as it can hold the bits of meat better. Another type of paste suitable for this dish is farfalle, a.k.a. butterfuly pasta.
  • The picture would look nicer if I had just cooked the pasta separately and then poured the sauce over it, but then it wouldn’t taste nearly as good. Sometimes you have to sacrifice looks for taste.
  • Ragu and Ragout are both a dish made from gamey meat and chopped vegetables. Ragu is Italian and is usually cooked as a sauce. Ragout is French and is usually a stew.
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2016 in Italian, Main Courses, Pasta, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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Duck Confit and Sherry Pot Pie


(serves 6)
This Duck and Sherry Pie is a great festive dish for the winter season. It is quick and convenient as the Duck Confit (Cuisse de Canard Confit) will provide all the flavor that you’ll need. And the meat in Duck Confit already comes tender, so you don’t need to stew any duck for hours either. Furthermore the recipe resolves the issue of confit being overly salty by cooking the pie filling with sherry and sweet potatoes.     
 

IngredientsDuck Confit Filling

  1. Duck Leg Confit (2)
  2. Carrot (1 large)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Sweet Potato (2)
  5. Mushrooms (100g)
  6. Peas (1/2 cup)
  7. Milk (1 cup)
  8. Sherry
  9. Mustard
  10. Flour
  11. Potato (2) – for the crust

Preparation 

  1. Peel sweet potatoes and carrot. Cut the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms into 1 inch pieces. Dice the carrot and onion into 1/2 inch cubes or pieces.
  2. Debone the duck confit. This should be an easy task as the meat is practically falling off the bone anyway. Break up the duck meat into large chunks with two forks. Gently heat the duck confit in a pot, just enough to liquefy the lard the confit comes in.
  3. Spoon 6T of the duck oil into a pan and decant the rest into a bowl or jar for storage.
  4. Place the pan on a low fire and fry the onion and carrot bits until the onion softens.
  5. Sprinkle on 2T of flour and continue to stir fry for a minute. Slowly stir in 2/3 cup of milk, followed by 1/2 cup of sherry. Next add sufficient hot water to result in thin sauce. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Next add the mushroom, peas and duck to the pan. Sprinkle on 1t sugar, 1t mustard and 1t of black pepper. After simmering for a further 5 minutes your filling will be ready.
  7. For the crust, boil 2 large potatoes for 15 minutes, peel and then mash them with 1/3 cup milk and 2T of duck oil.
  8. Pour your pie filling into either a large baking dish or spoon into individual ramekins or gratin dishes. Cover with a layer of the mash. Bake in the oven at 180oC until the crests of the mash get brown.

Duck Confit Pie

Notes

  • For a traditional pastry type pie, skip step 7 & 8 and follow the procedure as described in my Savoury Pies Page.
  • You’ll notice that we didn’t need to use any salt, stock cubes or herbs. This is because confit is pre-marinated with herbs, garlic and a hefty amount of salt and then cooked in its own rendered lard as you will see from my Duck Confit Page, If we had used butter and flour to make the sauce instead, you’d need to add all kinds of other ingredients to get the taste right.
  • As you are not baking the duck confit directly to get a crispy skin, there is no need to buy ‘fresh’ duck confit from the grocer. Those that come in a can are perfectly fine for this recipe.
  • Some of my friends prefer to eat my duck filling with bread instead of inside a pie, as pictured at the top of the page. This is even more convenient.
  • If you would like a creamier pie, add 2T of sour cream in step 6.
 

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Slow Cooked Beef Shank Kebabs


(serves 4)
This is a very unauthentic recipe for kebabs, but it is however a great way to cook stew-type cuts of beef without actually making a stew. Its actually more of a cross between shish kebab and boeuf bourguignon. I think of it more as a Provencal-style dish than Persian. We start out by making a stew in white wine and end up drying up the stew into a nice tasty glazing for the beef chunks.

Ingredients Beef Kebab

  1. Beef Shank (800g)
  2. Carrot (1 large)
  3. Eggplant (1 large)
  4. Garlic (12 cloves = 1 bulb)
  5. Mushrooms (200g)
  6. Shallots (8)
  7. White Wine (1 cup)
  8. Oxo Beef Cube
  9. Pesto
  10. Oregano
  11. Thyme
  12. flour

Preparation 

  1. Cut your beef into large cubes after removing any chunky bits of connective (white) tissue. Besides using beef shank, other appropriate cuts would be rib fingers, brisket or cheek. Lightly salt the beef.
  2. Preheat your over to 150oC (300oF). Dissolve1 Oxo beef cube in 1.25 cups of hot water.
  3. Peel an entire garlic bulb and put half the cloves through a press. Peel the shallots but keep them whole. Cut the carrots, mushrooms and egg plant into pieces of the appropriate size.
  4. Put the beef cubes into a zip loc bag with 2T(heaped) of flour. Shake the bag until all the surfaces are thoroughly coated.
  5. Heat up a pan with 3T of oil and lightly sear all the sides of the beef cubes. Do this a few pieces at a time.
  6. Place the seared beef into a large pyrex dish, followed by the cut vegetables around the meat. Sprinkle on 2T of oregano and 2T of thyme. If you really want to you can skewer everything on metal skewers first like real kebabs (except for the garlic).
  7. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of white wine. Add the beef stock. Add 2T of pesto and the crushed garlic. Cook for a minute. Pour over the beef and then cover the pyrex baking dish snugly with foil.
  8. Poke 3 small holes in the foil with a toothpick. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 40 minutes.
  9. Remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes to dry up the liquid and give the beef a nice glaze.

Notes Kebab before oven

  • You may have noticed I did not skewer the kebabs. I usually skip this as its tedious to do the skewering and the un-skewering. 
  •  If you are having a real BBQ, you can throw your pre-cooked kebabs (skewered) over an open flame BBQ to get the charcoal flavour.  
  • If you have a Dutch oven like le Creuset you can use that instead of the pyrex dish. 
 

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Pesto Crusted Lamb Chop Medallions


(serves 2)
This is a delightful main course which improves on your run-of-the-mill pan fried lamb chops by a mile. It solves the thousand year old lamb chop connundrum by cooking the tender eye seperately from the tougher bone portion, plus it uses the trimmings to create an incredibly intense sauce. If I must say so myself, the pesto crust works really well with lamb. This recipe does however require a tad more time and effort, but its ooh so worthwhile in the end.
 
Ingredients Pesto Crusted Lamb Medallions
  1. Lamb Chops (8)
  2. Pesto (2T)
  3. Parmagiano Reggiano (1T)
  4. Bread (1 slice)
  5. Garlic (0.5 bulb = 6 cloves) 
  6. Fennel Seeds (2T)
  7. Mint Leaves (1T)
  8. Rosemary (1T)
  9. Thyme (1T)
  10. Cognac (2T)
  11. Woustershire Sauce
  12. Dijon Mustard
  13. Misc Vegetables 

Preparation – Earlier in the Day

Buy the type of lamb chop which has some meat clinging to the rib end of the bone. Cut each chop into three parts:

    • The first part is the round meaty eye, which will become your medallions (chopping board, left). Make sure you trim away most of the white bits as you won’t be cooking the medallion too long.
    • The second part is the flank, basically the fleshy portion around the long end of the bone (chopping board, right). You can leave the white bits on for these cuts.Lamb Chops Deboned
    • The third part will be the trimmings (on the plate), basically the bone and chunks of fat and connective tissue.
  1. Marinate the medallion and flank pieces in 2T olive oil, 1T cognac, 1T thyme, 1T fennel seeds, 0.5t salt, a pinch of sugar and a dash of woustershire sauce. Lamb is one of the more gamey meats and you should marinate it for a minimum of four hours.
  2. Boil the trimmings in a pot, with just enough water to cover everything. Add to the pot, 1T mint leaves, 1T fennel seeds, 1T rosemary, 1T Cognac and 6 garlic cloves. Simmer with the cover on for a minimum of half an hour. Follow up by microwaving the meat and stock on high power, covered, for 3×3 = 9 minutes, allowing the meat to cool between cycles.
  3. Leave a piece of bread uncovered in the fridge to dry out.

Preparation – Before the Meal 

  1. Cut the piece of bread into little cubes. Toast the cubes into croutons and smash them in a zip-loc bag with the flat end of a meat mallet or rolling pin to produce some fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix 2T of these breadcrumbs, with 2T of pesto and 1T of finely grated Parmagiano Reggiano. This will form the pesto crust.
  3. Pick out the marinated flank portions and pan fry these on low heat with a spot of oil till they are nicley browned. These bits have to be fried as they take much longer to become tender.
  4. Set aside the flank pieces, leaving the pan unwashed. Pour the lamb stock Lamb Medallions ready to Grillthrough a strainer into the same pan. Boil the stock down until it becomes a thick sauce. Take the opportunity to cook any vegetables you would like to serve with your lamb medallions in the stock as it is thickened. Examples include baby corn, baby carrots or peeled shallots. 
  5. When the sauce has thickend, remove the vegetables and stir in one t of dijon mustard. Taste and add salt as required – only at the end.
  6. In the meanwhile, spoon the pesto mixture onto the lamb medallions. Its alright for the crust to be thick so use up all of the mixture you made.
  7. Oil a baking tray and preheat it. Arrange the medallions in the middle (you should hear a slight sizzle) and then the pre-cooked flank pieces around the edges (as per photo on the right). Cook in a preheated toaster oven (heat on top and bottom) for about 7 minutes, or until the pesto crust begins to bubble and harden.
  8. Spoon the sauce onto the serving plate first, followed by the lamb and finally the vegetables. 

Notes

  • You have a couple of options regarding the bones. The lamb reduction sauce is very good as it contains all the tastes you normally associate with lamb but can’t apply because of the pesto crust: mint, garlic, rosemary, mustard etc. If you really can’t bother with the sauce, just throw the bones away and use the drippings from the medallions as ‘jus’. Alternatively, you can boil the stock as per above but serve it (still strained) as a mutton broth to go with the medallions.
  • I used a toaster oven because it gives just the right heat to form the crust without overcooking the lamb. If you are making portions for more than 2, you can just use the grill in your oven. 
  • The microwaving helps melt the remaining fat and connective tissue. If you don’t own a microwave, then you’ll just have to simmer the lamb bones old style for a long time, until the gelatine is released.
  • FYI. I grilled the tomatoes with cheese topping seperately. Those were not cooked in the sauce pan with the baby corn.
 
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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Italian, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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Oxtail Braised in Red Wine


(serves 4)
Oxtail is loaded with gelatinous cartilage and tendon, making it the ideal cut of beef to interact with the tannin in red wine. It’s a pairing made in heaven. When braised sufficiently, the meat neutralizes the astringent bitterness of the wine, the wine at the same time tenderizes and flavours the meat. Add some common vegetables into the mix and what you get is the tenderest, tastiest morsels of beef you have ever eaten.
 
Ingredients
  1. Oxtail (1kg)
  2. Large Carrots (2)
  3. Onions (2)
  4. Red Shallots (12)
  5. Garlic (1 bulb = 12 cloves) 
  6. Brown Mushrooms (150g)
  7. Red Wine(1-1/4 cups)
  8. Cloves (6)
  9. Bay Leaves (5)
  10. Oxo Beef Cubes (2)
  11. Campbell’s Oxtail Soup (1 can)
  12. Woustershire Sauce
  13. Mustard 

Preparation

  1. If there is connective tissue (white stuff) left on the outside of your oxtail, cut some slits parallel to the bone in these areas to expose the meat beneath. Place the oxtail in a deep pot which has 2 times as much internal volume as the meat. Top off the pot with boiling water until the meat is just covered, add 1-1/4 cups of red wine and bring to a boil. Use a fuller wine, i.e. preferably not Pinot Noir / Burgundy.
  2. Add the can of oxtail soup, 6 bay leaves, 6 cloves, 2 Oxo cubes and 2T woustershire sauce. Keep on a low simmer for about 3 hours. You don’t have to have the fire on the entire time if you don’t want to. I usually just simmer for 15 minutes and leave the pot covered for 45 minutes, three times.
  3. Slice your carrots into thick discs, each onion into 8 wedges, and each mushroom into 4 (or 2 if they are small). Peel the garlic and shallots but leave them whole.
  4. Fish out the oxtail into a deep casserole with a quarter of the liquid. Discard the bay leaves and cloves. Throw all the vegetables into the remaining oxtail soup in the pot and keep on a low simmer for 1 hour.
  5. In the meanwhile, microwave the meat on high, covered for 3×3 = 9 minutes. Before you start and every 3 minutes thereafter, roll the oxtail around to keep them moist.
  6. After the oxtail pieces have cooled, strip the meat from the bone. It should come off easily without any cutting. If not, send it back to the microwave. Keep the meat morsels drenched in the drippings to prevent them from drying out. With 10 minutes to go on the vegetable simmer, return the meat (and drippings) to the pot.
  7. For taste, add 1T sugar, 1t mustard and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Finally add salt incrementally until the sweet taste from the sugar is masked. This varies with each person’s tastes so I won’t suggest an exact amount. 

Notes

  • I bet you’re thinking…hmmm if I want to complicate things and put the veggies in before I take out the meat, I can save quite some time. Yes that’s true. 
  • The microwaving helps melt the remaining fat and connective tissue. If you don’t have a microwave, then you’ll have to roast the oxtail in the oven – before putting them to boil in the pot. This is the traditional way of doing it but I prefer the microwave method as it is more convenient.
  • This is not oxtail in a red wine reduction, but it is similar. If you want to cook a wine reduction version, follow the above recipe but…
    • skip the can of soup
    • skip the onions
    • skip the mustard 
    • reduce the Oxo cubes to 1
    • at the end, fish out the veggies (to be served on the side) and reduce the liquid to concentrate it.
  • Other cuts of meat suitable for this recipe are beef ribs, brisket and cheek.
  • If you like love oxtail but not the taste of wine, try my Scottish Oxtail Stew recipe instead. 
 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in French, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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Chinese Style Beef Strogonoff


(serves 3)
This is a fusion version of the Russian classic Beef Stroganoff. The beef is marinated in the Chinese Style using bicarbonate of soda, leaving it extremely tender. You won’t be needing a nicely marbled piece of Wagyu beef for this recipe and more importantly there is no chance to overcook it. When married with the rich taste of sour cream, the end result is a fusion of Eastern and Western (actually East meets Eastern Europe) cuisine.    
 

Ingredients

  1. Beef Fillet (400g)
  2. Brown Mushrooms (150g)
  3. Onion (1)
  4. Sour Cream (1/3 cup)
  5. Oxo Beef Stock Cube (1)
  6. Balsamic Vinegar
  7. Bicarbonate of Soda
  8. Corn Starch
  9. Coriander Seed Powder
  10. Soya Sauce
  11. Brandy
  12. Vegetable Oil

Preparation 

  1. Cut the beef fillet into slices which are as thin as you can manage manually. Cut across the grain where possible. 
  2. Mix the marinate as follows: 1/3 cup water, 1T soya sauce, 2t corn starch, 1t sugar, 1t coriander seed powder, 0.5t bicarbonate of soda, 0.5t salt. Mix the meat in the marinade well and leave it for 2 or more hours. It may appear watery at first but all the liquid will be adsorbed by the meat over time. 
  3. Its now 2 or more hours later. Add 2T or balsamic vinegar to the meet and mix well. You should see some small bubbles as the bicarbonate reacts with the vinegar. This is normal.
  4. Cut your onion into half rings and the mushrooms into thick slices.
  5. Disolve one beef cube in 1/3 cup of hot water in a large bowl.
  6. Pan fry the onions with a dash of oil for about 3 minutes on low heat. Add the mushrooms and continue stir frying till the mushrooms begin to soften. Empty the contents of the pan into the beef stock. 
  7. Put a generous amount of oil into the pan and turn the heat to high. At the same time mix 1T of oil into the marinated meat. When the pan is searing hot, sautée the meat. Make sure both sides of each piece of meat has time on the pan. When no part of the meat’s surface appears uncooked anymore, pour in the stock, onions and mushrooms.
  8. Continue on high heat till the liquid is reduced to 1/3 its original volume, it shouldn’t take long. Add 1/3 cup of sour cream. Simmer on low heat for a further minute before adding 3T of brandy and turning the fire off. Add salt if you fancy, but taste it first. 
  9. Plate with either buttered fettucine or buttered rice, and sprinkle on some black pepper after plating.

Notes

  • If you wish to marinate the meat ahead of time, remember that you can’t leave the meat overnight without first adding the vinegar. After doing so, you can even refreeze the marinated meat.
  • If your knife skills are lacking, there are two ways you can get around this. Either have your beef semi-frozen before you begin slicing, or cut slightly thicker pieces and flatten them with a meat mallet.
  • If you wish to understand more about the effect of bicarbonate of soda on meat, please refer to this post.
  • In some places (like Brazil or Hong Kong) you’ll encounter versions which use heavy cream instead of sour cream. Add 2T of HP sauce to the heavy cream to cook this version.
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in A Kobi Original, Main Courses, Oriental, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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Scottish Oxtail Stew


(serves 6)
The tail is one of the best parts of a cow for stewing. It is loaded with gelatin and its meat gets softer the longer you cook it. My particular version of oxtail stew uses barley as one of its ingredients, and contains no tomatoes or wine, hence my choice of a Scotch prefix.  The barley results in a very hearty stew, perfect for cold weather. Its a meal in itself, with no need for additional stapels or vegetarian side dishes. 
 
Ingredients
  1. Oxtail (1.5kg)
  2. Large Carrots (2)
  3. Onions (2)
  4. Potatoes (2) 
  5. Mushrooms (250g)
  6. Small Cabbage (1/2)
  7. Pearl Barley(1/3 cup)
  8. Black-eyed Beans (1/2 cup)
  9. Tarragon
  10. Oregano
  11. Bay Leaves
  12. Oxo Beef Cubes (3)
  13. Campbell’s Oxtail Soup (1 can)
  14. Whisky
  15. Woustershire Sauce 

Preparation – Part I

  1. If there is connective tissue (white stuff) left on the outside of your oxtail, cut some slits parallel to the bone in these areas to expose the meat beneath. Place the oxtail in a deep pot which has 3 times as much internal volume as the meat. Top off the pot with boiling water until the meat is just covered and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the can of oxtail soup, 6 bay leaves, 1T tarragon, 1T oregano and 2 Oxo cubes. Keep on a low simmer, covered, for about 3 hours. 
  3. Dice up half of your carrots, onions, mushrooms and fry them in a large non-stick saucepan with a knob of butter. This portion of the vegetables is meant to disintegrate, so chop them up finely and don’t worry about being tidy. After about fifteen minutes in the pan, add two cups of water with a Oxo cube dissolved in it, 1/3 cup of barley and 1/2 cup of black-eyed beans. Simmer this, again covered, for about an hour.
  4. If either the pot or saucepan starts to get low on water, add some to prevent them from drying up. When they are done, leave them covered with the heat off to settle for a few hours. This is the end of the preparatory stage and should be done several hours ahead of time or even the night before.

Preparation – Part II

  1. Now the final stage. Cut the remaining vegetables into sizes you want to see in the final stew. I normall cut the onion into 8 wedges, the mushrooms into quarters, the cabbage into 2 wedges and the carrots into round discs. The 2 potatoes should be peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Fish out the oxtail into a deep casserole with a bit of the soup, discard the bay leaves and microwave on high, covered for 9 minutes. The microwaving helps melt some of the remaining fat and connective tissue. Before you start and every 3 minutes thereafter, roll the oxtail around to keep them moist.
  3. Throw all the vegetables into the oxtail soup, including the pre-cooked vegetables from the sauce pan, and again bring to a low simmer.
  4. When the oxtail pieces has been microwaved, return them together with any drippings, to the pot. Stir every minute or so, until the new set of vegetables begin to soften. Then you add the final seasoning during the last ten minutes of cooking.
  5. For taste, add 3T sugar, 3T whisky, 3T woustershire sauce and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Finally add salt incrementally until the sweet taste from the sugar disappears. This varies with each person’s tastes so I won’t suggest an exact amount. 

Notes

  • Why are we cooking the vegetables seperately from the oxtail? Because the small bits invariably get trapped under the oxtail and become burnt at the bottom of the pot. This way, you don’t have to watch the pot and keep stirring for several hours.   
  • Why are we cooking the vegetables seperately from each other? If we put all the vegetables in from the beginning, everything will disintegrate into a porridge. This way you get the wholesomeness of long cooked caramelized vegetables, plus some recognizable pieces when you serve.
  • Make sure you use polished pearl barley. The rougher partially polished hull barley is not edible and is meant to be discarded after cooking, or for distilling alcohol.
  • If you don’t have a microwave, then you’ll have to roast the oxtail in the oven – before putting them to boil in the pot. This is the traditional way of doing it but I prefer the microwave method as it is more convenient. Besides, it allows me to use a pot of a more manageable size.
  • The picture shows the entire stew on one plate. This is purely for aesthetics. Normally I’d serve the meat on a plate and the stew seperately in a bowl. If I am in a generous mood, I sometimes even strip the oxtail of meat at the end, which I then mix into the stew.
  • If you prefer your oxtail stewed French style, check out my oxtail braised in red wine recipe.
 
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Posted by on October 24, 2010 in English, Main Courses, Recipe, Red Meat

 

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