Posts tagged star anise

Oxtails and Bok Choy

Chinese-Style Oxtail (from Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore)

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Oxtail, coated in a rich anise-soy-flavored sauce, is so good.  Even the small pieces with only a little meat are irresistible. You can make the dish a day in advance so you can chill it and remove the layer of fat. Serve with braised bok choy and steamed rice.

• 5 pounds oxtail, cut into pieces
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup Chinese wine or dry sherry [I used the dry sherry]
• 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
• 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 2 cups water
• 1 star anise, broken apart 
• 3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
• 4 slices fresh ginger 
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• 1 orange

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Trim any excess fat off oxtail, then pat dry. Season lightly with salt and generously with freshly ground black pepper. In a Dutch oven or flameproof casserole, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Brown oxtail in batches, adding more oil if necessary. As they brown, transfer oxtail pieces to a plate.

Discard any fat from pot, then pour in wine and bring to a boil, deglazing pot by scraping up browned bits from bottom. Mix soy sauce and sugar with 2 cups water and pour into pot. Add star anise, scallions, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove 4 large strips of zest from orange; reserve orange. Add zest and oxtail to pot. Cover with a damp piece of parchment paper and then lid. Transfer to oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Turn pieces of oxtail, cover again with parchment and lid, and cook for another 1 1/2 hours or until oxtail is very tender. Transfer oxtail to a dish and strain sauce through a sieve into a glass measuring cup or a bowl; discard debris in sieve. Cool, then cover sauce and oxtail and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Remove all fat from top of jellied liquid and any from oxtail pieces. Place oxtail pieces in a single layer in a baking dish.

Heat sauce in a small saucepan until liquid, then pour over oxtail. Cover, transfer to oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Uncover baking dish and stir oxtail. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 15 minutes. Turn pieces of oxtail to coat with sauce and cook for another 15 minutes, or until hot and glazed.

Meanwhile squeeze 1/4 cup juice from orange. Remove glazed oxtail from oven and pour in juice. Stir the juice into sauce and serve.

Braised Baby Bok Choy Recipe Adapted from From Bangkok to Bali in 30 Minutes

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• 2 pounds baby bok choy or mature bok choy
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
• 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (available in the Asian section of your grocery store, or from specialty Asian markets)

Trim the base of the bok choy. Place a large wok or a pot large enough to hold all the bok choy over medium heat. When it is hot, add the olive oil and rotate the wok or pot a bit to coat it evenly. When the oil is hot, add the onion and stir-fry until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bok choy and season with the salt and pepper. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6.

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