I was describing my slow-cooking recipes to J., when I realised that I was so focused on enhancing the flavours of the ingredients with exotic spices that I completely missed cream-based sauces. I made a mental note to myself. How could I forget creamy stews!? I know, they are high-cal but everyone deserve a treat once in a while! Especially after prepping the garden for planting or on Mother’s day.
Well! Here it is: oxtail blanquette. Blanquette is a traditional French stew that uses veal meat, but I thought that beef oxtail would be just as succulent. I slow cooked the oxtail with mirepoix - the holy trinity of French cooking - and white wine first. Once fork-tender, I transferred the meat into a casserole dish and reserved it in the oven while I removed the excess fat from the broth. Because I am a finicky cook, I whizzed and passed the both through a sieve before adding the cream, but you can leave the vegetables chunky and serve the blanquette with steamed rice and sautéed oyster mushrooms.
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
2 pounds beef oxtail
2 or 3 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 teaspoon cloves
1 bouquet garni: thyme, parsley, bay leaves
½ cup dry white wine
1. Chop the carrots and transfer in the slow cooker.
2. Peel and spike the onions with the cloves. Place on top of the carrots.
3. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.
4. Season the beef oxtail with salt and pepper, brown in the hot oil and transfer to the slow cooker.
5. Add the celery to the pan and stir-fry for 1-2 mns over low to medium-high heat.
6. Deglaze with the wine and add the bouquet garni.
7. Let simmer for 2 mns and pour over the meat.
8. Slow cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat falls off the bones.
9. Transfer the meat into a casserole dish and reserve it in a 275 F- oven. (Note: Steps 9-13 are optional)
10. Remove the excess fat from the broth using a spoon.
11. Press the vegetables until smooth using an immersion blender (or transfer into a blender).
12. Pass the broth through a sieve into a saucepan.
13. Heat the broth to a gentle simmer and stir in the cream.
14. Serve hot over steamed rice .