This is probably my favorite recipe. It is pretty elaborate, but you can prepare most of it in advance, so if you want to serve it for dinner you can start cooking in the morning or even the previous day. I use a pressure cooker to decrease the cooking time, as the ox tail takes 3 hours in a regular pot. The contrast of flavors and textures makes it an absolute crowd pleaser.
Ingredients (serves 6)
2 kgs (4 pounds) oxtail
1 cup red wine (preferably Rioja)
1 1/2 cups extra-dry white wine
2/3 sprigs thyme
1/2 sprigs rosemary
2/3 bay leaves
2 medium yellow onions
2 red peppers (or 1 red ,1 yellow)
4 medium carrots
4 tart apples
flour, cocoa powder, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper
STEP 1.- Remove any extra fat from the oxtail pieces, pat dry and coat them with flour. Season with salt and pepper.
STEP 2.-Heat 3 tbsps. of olive oil in the pot you will use to cook the meat (in my case, pressure cooker) and fry the oxtail until golden brown. Set aside.
STEP 3.- Chop the vegetables coarsely into small pieces. Add some extra olive oil to the pot if needed and sauté the onions and leeks first. Add the rest of the vegetables, until they start getting golden brown.
STEP 4.- Add the herbs, the spices, the oxtail and the wine. Add a little water if needed to almost cover.
STEP 5.- Cook for 1 hour in the pressure cooker or about 3 in a regular pot, until the meat comes easily apart from the bone.
STEP 6.- Take the meat out of the pot and let cool down.
STEP 7.- Remove part of the liquid fat that will say on top. Puree the vegetables and remaining liquid, previously removing the herbs and spices. Add 2 tbsp. of pure cocoa powder and blend it. You can also add a little sugar if needed.
STEP 8.- Separate the meat from the bones and any other tissue. Set aside.
STEP 9.- Peel and chop the apples, add 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. sugar and cook them in the microwave for 3-6 minutes, depending on your microwave. Puree them with the hand blender.
STEP 10.- Dice 2 zucchinis (do not peel). Sauté them in a pan with 1 tbsp. butter, over medium high heat, so they get golden brown but still a little crunchy, not soft.
STEP 11.- Add a few tbsps. of the sauce to the meat, so it gets a little juicier.
STEP 12.- With the help of a round mold, place a layer of zucchini, a layer of meat and a layer of apple pure. Serve with mashed potatoes and some sauce to decorate. Serve the rest of the sauce aside.