Let’s try something new

here’s a new feature we are gonna try out, lets call it

“Hey Guy”

because a customer of ours wrote us an email asking what do do with something and brian wrote back his answer that i thought was pretty cool. so here it is. (just so you know this is not made up fiction and i do not know s.) so if y’all like it drop us a note or question or any old hey guy….(oh yeah i cut out the names to protect the innocent )

Hi All!

I come to your restaurant every time I visit my brother and and his wife, G. and A., in NOLA. Our last visit to your restaurant was Nov 2010 right after their wedding and I meant to ask while I was there but forgot! How do you prepare the oxtails on the small plate? I just bought two packages of expiring oxtails on the “manager’s special” at my grocery here. They never have these, but brought some in for the holidays, so I bought them. Froze one package and have opened the other. I’ve rinsed them and removed the excess fat. And now I have no idea what to do next in my attempt to make them a little bit like the ones I had in Dante’s Kitchen… Help! I think I’m going to put these back in the frig for the night and see if you may have some advise for me tomorrow. Thanks for any info!


Hey S,

Thanks for your interest in our food.

The oxtails haven’t been on the menu for a minute but if I remember right we were doing it like this: You’ll want to prep a few things before you get started. While you’re at it go ahead and thaw those out from the freezer. Let’s just cook them all.
There’s no real measurements here. We’ll just have to use our instincts.

Depending on how many tails you have …cut up some carrots ,celery and onions in very large pieces. Have some whole cloves of garlic ( you can keep the skin on. This all gets strained out later) A couple of oranges and a few anchovies ( I would highly recommend using them even if you don’t like them) bay leaves, fresh rosemary and thyme.

Now to the meat…You don’t want to trim off too much of the fat. The very thick chunks can be trimmed but make sure to leave some on. Season them liberally with salt an pepper..and have them at room temperature for about an hour. They will sear better if you don’t start out with cold meat,.This is called “tempering”

You are going to want to use a deep, heavy bottomed pan with plenty of room to fit all the tails in a single layer.

Get the pan smoking hot with a good bit of oil to sear the tails. Watch out. the pan may spit a little but you must soldier on. These are going to be great oxtails.

Sear the tails on all sides to a nice golden brown. You may have to do this in batches to keep the pan hot enough. If the pan starts getting watery you won’t be able to sear them.

After searing remove the meat to a pan or tray and add your vegetables. Let these sweat for 10 -15 minutes.

Deglaze your pot with red wine. Go ahead and get loose with the wine.(Some for you some for the pot). Allow the wine to reduce until it is almost completely evaporated. Go ahead and put the tails back in the pot in a single layer, with the oranges, anchovies and herbs. Pour in enough stock to come about 2/3 up the meat. In other words you don’t cover the meat you want some popping above the liquid a little bit. Let your braising liquid come to a very small boil. When it does, you’re ready for the oven. Have your oven preheated to about250 degrees,

Turn the pot off on the stove and cover with a lid or tinfoil very tightly. You still have that red wine? Go ahead and pour yourself a glass or 2. This is your waiting time. Be patient and don’t mess with the temperature, You want to “braise” not “boil” Boiling will leach all the flavor out of the meat. Braising will take a minimum 3-4 hours. Check around 3 hrs. You want the meat to be very tender but not disintegrating or falling too easily from the bone. So that’s the braising part………….

Hang on there, S. Where do you think you’re going? We’re not done quite yet. Look at all that lovely braising liquid you’ve got there. Let’s make a sauce.

Take all of the oxtails out of the liquid and use a slotted spoon or strainer to remove most of the vegetables. Strain all the braising liquid into a convenient sized pot pressing on any remaining solids to extract all the liquid. Then you just need to wait a little bit longer until this liquid reduces over a medium heat. It should have a nice thick consistency that coats a spoon when dipped into it. If you want to take extra care of it you’ll skim off any “scum” and grease that rises to the top as you reduce. By now you should be really hungry and the aromas filling your kitchen have been tempting you mercilessly for the past few hours. Dig in and enjoy lip smacking good oxtails and gravy.

Good Luck………Brian- Dante’s Kitchen

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