Thursday, 26 June 2008

Very Slow Cooking

My mother is a hoarder! She keeps everything, right down to the till slip of her first monthly shopping trip after she get married. When I was young I thought she was crazy to keep something so silly, but now I find myself keeping little things which hold fond memories.

When you read the slip you realise just what inflation really is. Her total bill was less than I spend on weekly essentials like milk and bread and she bought everything she would need for more than a month.

One thing that amazes my father is the price of oxtail. He would go each week to the butcher to buy their meat and the oxtail was "throw-in" - pasella (free)!

I often look at the oxtail in the supermarket and gasp at the price. It takes a substantial financial commitment to purchase what effectively is a fly swatter. But at least once a year, I take the plunge and decide to treat my husband to one of his favourite meals.

Along with the financial commitment, you have to have lots of time to prepare your oxtail. This is not a dish you throw together when you get home late from work. I cook mine in my slow cooker, on low for about 18 hours. The end result is meat that is falling off the bone with a thick rich sauce.

Oxtail

1 kg Oxtail drenched in flour (use a zip lock bag)
2 Large Onions Sliced
4 Chopped Carrots
2 Chopped and Peeled Tomatoes
1 cup White Beans
1 Cup Pearl Wheat (Crushed wheat / Stampkoring)
1 Chilli ( I used a Habanero, fresh from my garden, see the picture below)
15ml Crushed Black Pepper
1 Large handful of Fresh Thyme (or dried if you don't have fresh)
Salt

Brown the oxtail pieces in a frying pan.
Place everything except the salt and the pearl wheat in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for about 12 hours (while you sleep is best).
Add the salt and the pearl wheat and cook for another 6 hours.
Serve with rice and topped with a few fresh lemon thyme leaves (optional).
You can make this on the stove top (or oven), but make sure you cook it for at least 5 hours.

To give you an idea of the range of heat in an habanero: a sweet pepper scores 0 on the scale, jalapeƱo chillies score anything between 2,500 to 10,000 and habaneros score 80,000 to 300,000-plus! So watch out when you bite into one - your unborn grandchildren will still be feeling the burn.

5 comments:

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

I am a bit of a purist when it comes to oxtail. I like it "straight", just the meat and maybe a few potatoes. Your chillies are beautiful!

glamah16 said...

I love oxtail. I will note this recipe.Thanks for visisting my blog. Hope to see you arounds and Im adding you to my reader.

Maryann said...

I have never worked with oxtail myself, but I do like oxtail soup-when someone else makes it! haha

Jeanne said...

My mom always used to make oxtail as my dad adored it and I, too, am amazed at the price charged for it now. I cook mine, then leave it in the fridge overnight and then cook it again the next day before serving to get the same fall-off-the-bone effect.

My mom also kept some till slips from the Chinese grocer where she used to buy our weekly groceries in the early 1970s in PE - it makes for interesting reading :)

Rose&Thorn said...

Jeanne - It has to fall off the bone! I wonder if any of our slips will make our kids laugh one day?

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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