Monday, November 28, 2011

Maven's Oxtail Paprikash

2 lb oxtail cut into pieces
6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 small or 1 large onion, diced (or a dozen pearl onions, halved)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp Chile powder or1 T smoked paprika (HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Spanish or Hungarian)
1 cup of broth (I'm using chicken because it's what I have on hand)
1 Cup red wine
1 large can tomato puree or if you have a partially full jar of spaghetti sauce on hand, use that
1 Whole bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste

Optional: 1 small sweet bell pepper, diced.
Optional: If you have a few handfuls of fresh mushrooms, halve or quarter them and add them to the pot.
Optional: If you have sour cream, add it to the gravy after it's finished cooking or use to garnish as you're plating up.
Protip: This recipe can then "morph" into chili w/the addition of cumin and coriander powder, minced jalapeno, and (*GASP!* THE HORRORS!!!) kidney beans. Can be augmented with some browned ground beef. Serve the chili up w/fresh diced onion, jalapeno/hatch and cilantro.
In a large skillet, sautee the onion first, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic. Cook 2 minutes or until golden and aromatic. NOT BROWNED. Put this into an awaiting pressure cooker which has been on a burner with very low heat. Turn the heat up 1 notch or two, and add the stock, red wine and tomato puree/sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, meanwhile in your big skillet, add 1/2 the batch of oxtail. Brown or get a good sear on all sides. Add to the pressure cooker. Let everything continue to be at a low boil/simmer. Add the bay leaf and paprika and a few pinches of salt. Stir well. Immediately before putting lid on pressure cooker, add the diced bell pepper. Put lid on pressure cooker, and lower the heat to 2 (or a low flame for simmering). Put whistle weight on top. And pressure cook for roughly 2-3 whistles Once you've heard the 2nd whistle, turn the heat off, but keep the pot on the burner (if you have an electric burner or a glass top range; otherwise if you're cooking with gas, wait until the 3rd whistle before turning the heat off completely).

Let the steam release from the valve naturally. Don't rush it by releasing it early with a wooden spoon.

Give a good stir, you might want to thicken (if you're into that kind of thing). Otherwise it's perfect to be served with rice or noodles or spaetzel.

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