Braised Ox Tail (紅燒牛尾)

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When you hear about ox tail mentioned in the menu or ingredients list, you might think that it is a rare cut of meat.  Ox tail is just simply the culinary name for the tail of cattle and is available at most supermarkets.  In my experience, ox tail is skinned and cut into short lengths at the meat department in Western supermarkets and available uncut at Asian grocery stores.  Ox tail is a bony and gelatinous cut of meat so it works very well in homemade stews or beef stock.

My husband and I had the pleasure of traveling around Italy on our first honeymoon.  We both like to be adventurous in tasting different ways to prepare cultural foods.  We did come across these lovely restaurants with the romantic atmosphere and endless wine lists.  Most of the time they served ox tail in braised in stew with red wine.  In addition to the scrumptious flavor, red wine gives the dish its lovely reddish color.

Asian style braised ox tail is definitely an old traditional dish passed on from generation to generation in a family of restaurant owners.  Instead of red wine, the red dates give this recipe its special flavor and local (cultural) color.  The use of red dates in this braised ox tail dish has its origins in Xi’an (西安) cuisines, which are known for both family meals and luscious banquets.

Braised Ox Tail

Grocery list

1 ox tail
1/4 cup cornstarch
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
20 pitted Chinese red dates (jujubes)
3 tbsp goji berries / wolfberries
1 leek, cut into short sections
4 slices ginger
1/4 dried tangerine peel (soaked until soft)
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine

Seasonings

1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

 

材料

牛尾1條
生粉 1/4 杯
菜油 (炸油)
去核紅棗 (浸透) 12個
枸杞 3湯匙
韭蔥 1支 (切段)
姜 4片
陳皮 1角 (浸透)
紹興酒 1/4 杯

調味料

醬油 1/4 杯
芝麻油 1茶匙
糖 1茶匙
鹽 1茶匙

 

Cut ox tail into short sections about 1.5 inches long.  Bring a pot full of water to boil, enough to fully immerse the ox tail sections.  Once water is boiling, blanch briefly until no longer pink.  Rinse and strain.

Heat a wok with vegetable oil to 350oF for deep frying.  If you do not have a thermometer, heat oil on medium-high heat until a drop of water causes the oil to sizzle, and then reduce heat to medium.

Coat ox tail in cornstarch and place in hot oil to blanch until a light crust begins to form (approx 5 to 8 minutes).  Remove from oil, put on a plate and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in another wok or stainless steel pot on medium-high heat.  Stir-fry the ginger slices and tangerine peel until fragrant.  Add the ox tail and red dates and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

Deglaze with Shaoxing wine and let the wine boil for 10 seconds.  Add enough water to cover the ox tail and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Add the Seasonings and simmer on medium heat, partially covered, for another hour or until meat is tender.  The liquid should be reduced by ¾ the original volume to a thick gravy.  Add the goji berries and leeks, and then let simmer for 10 minutes more.

Braised Ox Tail

牛尾切段, 灼在沸水中, 過冷, 瀝幹.

扑上適量生粉﹐放滾油中過備用.

烧红锅,下油,爆香姜,陈皮,倾下牛尾,红枣,用大火爆炒片刻.

倒入酒﹐ 注入過面清水﹐用中慢火煨30分鐘﹐加入調味﹐再煨約一小時到熱透。

加入枸杞拌匀, 再煨10分钟, 加进韭葱拌匀出锅.

Braised Ox Tail

     

Related posts:

  1. Cantonese style beef brisket (柱侯蘿蔔炆牛腩)

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