Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oxtails braised with pear cider

I have been using alot of pears lately. They seem so festive for the holidays. Their shape is interesting-so much more elegant than apple. I like the Bosc best, mostly because of the shape, they are so uniformly plump at the blossom end, and skinny at the stem. The seckels are also attractive, but with their diminutive size they are alot of work peeling to get enough for the recipe.

I've also been drinking some marvelous Woodchuck Pear Cider. Refreshing and different, it is a draft cider and does have a small (4%) alchahol content. It has a pale straw coloring with a few bubbles-it almost looks like a champagne. It has a little sweetness to it, but not as much as you might expect-sort of like a dry champagne, and would be great with stews and chilis. I think it would make a great addition to your holiday bar.

I braised some oxtails with it last night and they were delicious. I browned the tails, added some onions, carrots, and flour, to slightly thicken it. I added some beef stock and a bottle of the cider and braised them for about 1 1/2 hours.

As a side dish I made a puree of potato, celery root, and pears. Quite tasty with the brasising liquid. I added some brussels sprouts which I sauteed with some chestnuts. I like chestnuts, but they can be too starchy for me sometimes. I like them best sliced into dressing, or as an addition to a vegetable side dish like the brussels sprouts. They also make an interesting soup that I have made in years past.


Husband said...

I have to ask because I've made oxtails a couple times in recent months and I've never quite gotten in right. I know I'm suppose to cook them for long periods of time and in a wet enviroment, but I still can't get it falling off the bone. Am I not submerging it enough or is there some thing else I'm missing?

mickey said...

I brown them thoroughly in a dutch oven-5 to 8 minutes) add the cooking liquid, stock, wine, beer, vegetable, etc, bring everyuthing back to the boil, cover the pot and bake it at 325 degrees for at leat 1 1/2 houra. The liquid should come to almost the tops of the bones, but not necessarily submerge them. Long, slow, wet heat is the answer.