Today, Heather is home, a work-related trip and will be here until Monday. She insists she'll have lots of time for home-cooked food. She hinted about wanting to sample the dishes on our blog which she hasn't tasted. Her special request (and this is not even christmas!) - the oxtail stew, another family-fav recipe from my sister Mee Fung. The picture does not do the dish justice, it definitely tastes better than it looks.
1 oxtail (~1.5 - 2 kg), cut into 4 cm, trim the fat
1 tablespoon hot bean paste
1 tablespoon bean paste
2 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2-3 big onions, sliced thickly
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon oil
1. Parboil the meat. Drain.
2. Marinate the meat with all the sauces.
3. Put oil in a heated heavy base pot, saute the onions until transparent and fragrant. Add the oxtail, brown and add in marinade with 1/2 cup water.
4. At this point, if you have a pressure cooker (so much easier) transfer the stew, cover and cook under pressure for 20-30 minutes.
5. Otherwise, when stew starts to boil, lower heat and simmer for 3-4 hours. Check occasionally to stir and add water if too dry.
6. Turn off the fire and let the pressure reduce.
7. The meat should be soft but not dropping off the bones (yet!).
8. Add the carrots to the stew, cover and simmer until the carrots are soft.
9. If the stew is watery at this point, increase the heat until gravy reaches a thicker consistency. Keep stirring to prevent the bottom getting burnt. Serve it with hot rice.
NB: Use aussie or NZ oxtail and not local oxtail unless you are using lot of herbs and spices or you happen to like that strong bovine taste.