Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oxtail Stew: my favorite winter comfort food

My mom likes to come over on grocery shopping day under the pretense she is "helping" me wrangle the kid.  I just really enjoy her company while shopping for food, food being one of our favorite topics of discussion.  For our lunch today, I made one of my all-time favorites, Oxtail Stew.  Now, this one is probably the most complex or labor intensive of all the recipes in my cookbook, but the flavors are well worth the effort.  It's messy - or maybe that's just me, since my stove looked like something exploded on it by the time I was done. 
I'm not really sure how I even came up with this recipe; in my original hand-written version, it's modified from an earlier original recipe of mine that was most definitely not paleo and certainly not Kaiden friendly.  Some of the original ingredients were carrots (instead of parsnips), corn, and barley.  For whatever reason, Kaiden can't have carrots; they - along with nightshade foods - triggered his seizures.  Since sweet potatoes did the same thing to him, the only thing I can think of is the high Vitamin A content.  Which, really, is fine with me - I've never liked sweet potatoes, and while I like carrots, I do not care for their flavor paired with beef.  Parsnips, now, that's another story.  I love parsnips with beef!
So, without further adieu:
Oxtail Stew
Diced beef, or left over beef roast, sliced
1 pkg oxtail
2 parsnips, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Honey mushrooms (oyster mushrooms would also work well; cremini mushrooms are a little too bland)
2 – 2 1/2 c cooked pumpkin or butternut squash
1 peach, chopped
Garlic cloves, chopped, slightly crushed
Olive oil
Sweet cherry wine
Sea salt
1/2 tsp homemade curry powder (I have a recipe in the cookbook for paprika-free curry)
Water, as much as you wish to make stew
Add veggies to water.  In a skillet, brown the garlic in olive oil with rosemary, salt, & pepper.  When browning, add a little sweet cherry wine and reduce.  When liquid is almost gone, add oxtail and braise.  Add contents of skillet to stew. Deglaze skillet with a bit more wine and add to stew. Then add rest of seasonings to stew.  Simmer 30 – 40 minutes.  If there is enough  meat on the oxtail, when the stew is done pull out the oxtails, cut meat off, and return the meat to stew.

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