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jamaican oxtail stew

July 10, 2014

this is the other recipe i’m excited about from lobel’s meat bible by stanley, evan, david, and mark lobel.

1/2 medium red onion, chopped
8 scallions, 6 chopped and two thinly sliced for garnish
8 large cloves garlic, sliced
3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, halved, stemmed, and seeded (haha, i used 1)
one 1 1/2 in knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
5 medium celery ribs
2 T ground allspice
2 t black pepper
2 T fresh thyme leaves
1/4 c soy sauce
starch, like corn or potato (for dredging – optional)
salt
oil
5 lb oxtail, cut crosswise into 1 in thick pieces
4 oz thick country-style bacon
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 lb dried or 2 15-oz cans prepared butter beans, lima beans, fava beans, or pigeon peas
2 T unsalted butter

in a food processor, combine red onion, scallions, garlic, peppers, ginger, 1 rib celery, allspice, pepper, thyme, soy sauce, 1 T of salt, and 2 T oil. process 20 – 30 seconds.

dredge oxtail in corn starch. shake off excess. heat 1/4 c oil over medium-high and brown oxtail 12-15 minutes per batch. watch for burning.

pour paste over oxtail and leave to marinate overnight.

let oxtail come to room temp > 1 h. cook bacon in a little oil on low heat. raise heat to medium and add onion. cook 8 – 10 mins. add oxtail and all of the marinade, stir in 6 1/2 c water, and bring to a simmer over high heat, skimming fat but not spice paste. reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at the barest possible simmer until meat is tender, about 3 1/2 h.

turn off heat and rest stew for 5 m, uncovered. skim fat. add carrots and celery. simmer on medium-low for 1 h.

stir in beans and continue simmering 15 – 30 m or until slightly thickened.

turn off heat, add butter and salt.

serve with white rice, scallions to garnish, and lime wedges

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from lobel’s meat bible by stanley, evan, david, and mark lobel.

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update january 2015:
couldn’t find oxtail, so i’m using beef stew meat. the marinade smells incredible. it’s marinating now, so i’ll let you know what happens.

update february 2016
oops. i never updated that. and i have no memory of making this last year. awesome. well, my oxtails were disgusting and rotten, so i used 2 lbs of pork, instead, and marinated it for almost 24 hours because it was weird old sale pork. the weird old sale pork turned out to be really tender (possibly because of the 24 hour marination.) however, this recipe really didn’t stand out like i thought it would. maybe it’s because of the shortcuts i used, and the quality of the ingredients – dried thyme for fresh, old allspice berries, no celery, etc. either way, it was pretty bland and uninspiring. the broth is good – nice and gingery – but the meat itself just tastes like regular old meat. i am sure that using 3 habaneros would completely change the equation, as well as some great, fresh ingredients. not a bad recipe by any means, but not my new go-to recipe.

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