Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Oxtail Bourguignon

I love boeuf bourguignon. It is one of my favorite French dishes, and we had the best boeuf bourguignon when we were in Paris on vacation in August. I have made the dish before, but this time I decided to try a variation of the Bon Appetit recipe for oxtail bourguignon. I made a bunch of minor changes, the most significant that I substituted organic turkey bacon for regular bacon, because, being Jewish, well, that's how I roll (or, is it don't roll, as per the Big Lebowski?) Anyhow, if I was to use regular bacon for this recipe, you are supposed to use only the fat. However, turkey bacon is much healthier and does not use load's of far, so instead I used canola oil, and added the turkey bacon in as part of the dish. Oxtail is a great meat to cool with in a stew of this nature, and it is a nice, inexpensive cut of meat. I bought mine from Fresh Direct.

Oxtail Bourguignon (derived from this recipe)
8 slices of organic turkey bacon
olive oil or canola oil
3 large fresh parsley sprigs
2 large bay leaves
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 T plus 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 T butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 lbs meaty oxtail pieces, trimmed of excess fat
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups of baby carrots
4 large cloves garlic, peeled; 1 minced and 3 left whole
1 3/4 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups red burgundy wine (I used an inexpensive Pinot Noir)
1 lb baby bella mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch slices
6 small shallots, peeled and diced

Cool the turkey bacon until brown and crisp. Transfer to plate, and add some canola or olive oil to the dutch oven. Place parsley, thyme and bay leaves in a sachet. Meanwhile, combine the melted butter and tablespoon of flour into a paste and set aside. This will be used later to thicken.

Combine the 1 1/2 cups of flour wtih the sat, 1/2 tsp of pepper and nutmeg and toss the oxtails in it to coat. Working in batches, sear the oxtail in canola oil until brown on all sides, about six minutes in total for each batch.

Add the chopped onions, carrots and minced garlic to the pot and saute for about 6 minutes until the onions are soft. Return the oxtails to the pot and add the bouquet, broth and wine. At this point, I also returned the turkey bacon to the pot, since I wanted it to be part of the dish (just too good to waste!). Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer in the Dutch Oven until the meat is almost tender. This took about two and a half hours for me. At this point, mix in the mushrooms, shallots (I preferred mine diced rather than blanched), carrot chunks and whole garlic cloves. The return to a boil and then simmer for about 30-45 minutes.  Skim off any excess fat, and stir the flour paste into the stew. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally for about 6 to 8 minutes. Season wtih salt and pepper and serve.

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