I was in the grocery store the other week and saw two things that I have never tasted or used in a recipe: Persimmons and Oxtails.
Yes, I know weird.
Lately I have been seeing a lot of people posting about persimmons (Tartlette and Food Librarian) and I knew as soon as I saw Tartlette’s post on Persimmons Chai Tarte Tartin that I would be making these. They turned out great. I really loved the flavor of these. I think part of it had to do with the fact that I used Wildflower Honey. My mom purchased it for me when I got the peaches back in August I think. Wildflower honey has a completely different flavor profile than regular honey. You can really taste the flowers. Crazy!!!
For the oxtails, I actually saw them in the grocery store and bought a pack. Then the next day they went on sale, so I decided to buy another pack. I ended up making Coda alla Vaccinara (Oxtail Butcher’s Style) from Mario Batali’s book Molto Italiano. These turned out great. I decided to serve them over some polenta and the meal was fantastic. It completely reminded me of beef stew, and it shows how every part of the body can be used for food. You just have to cook it right.
Source: Molto Italiano by Mario Batali
5 lbs oxtails, cut into 1/2 pound chunks ( by the butcher) and rinsed
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley
1 cup dry white wine
5 ribs celery, leaves reserved, stalks finely chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, julienne
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
PInch of hot red pepper flakes
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the oxtails, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the oxtails, reserving the broth, and set aside. Measure out 2 cups of the broth and discard the rest. Dissolve the tomato paste in the reserved broth and set aside
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the pancetta and saute until golden brown. Add the oxtails, a few pieces at a time, and brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate.
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, and half the parsley to the pot and saute util the vegetables are browned. Return the oxtails to the pot, add the wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the wine is reduced by half.
Pour the tomato paste-broth mixture over the meat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add the chopped celery, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the oxtails to a platter to cool. Set the pot aside.
Carefully and thorough remove the meat from the bones; this will take time, but it is worth it. Stir the meat into the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the celery leaves, the remaining parsley, the red pepper, red onion, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon together. Toss with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the meat in the nice mounds on six warmed plated. Divide the celery mixture evenly over the meat and serve immediately.