I tried something new.
A cut of oxtail is the type of meat that requires such patience. It demands it, strangely without demanding much of your attention. Have a pot of boiling liquid? Set it to cook on low for hours without ever sneaking a peek and it will be fine.
If you want oxtails to finally yield, to soften and give way to the luscious richness you've been craving, it is not wise to hurry the cooking process.
I most commonly braise oxtails. The first I'd ever had were braised, then smothered in a dark, heavy gravy.
But there is another way, a slow, steady boil in seasoned water replenished toward the end with broth.
It was Saigon Pho that turned me on. This wonderful Vietnamese restaurant near the entrance to the University of Arizona is tucked away off the main drag. You have to know it's there, or you have to have been sent there by Yelp.
Saigon Pho's oxtails are served in a beef stock with thin strips of beef, sweet onions, cilantro and, if you like, carrots and cabbage. I love how the tiny beads of oil sit teeming on the top layer of the nearly broth.
Oxtails in a light broth?
I tried to replicate the pho at home. Granted, this is no where near the complexity of true pho. In fact, even calling it a "fake pho" seems somewhat insulting. On a low boil, I cooked the oxtails in seasoned water for about two hours. I had to add one batch of water along the way. Toward the end, I added the chicken broth and let this simmer for another hour, adding more broth along the way.
Served with raw bean sprouts, green onions, napa cabbage and cilantro, it didn't taste anything near Saigon Pho's amazing dish, but it was still wonderfully filling nonetheless.
Who's That Girl
- Create. Snap. Eat.
- WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!
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