Posts Tagged ‘cocinando’

I have been really interested in trying out British recipes, stuff like cottage pie (it’s not shepherd’s pie unless you use lamb [Gordon Ramsay’s is the best ever]), bread pudding, yorkshire puddings, beef wellington, meat pies, finally getting a pork roast down well, and various offal and “unusual” cuts of meat, like oxtail. After watching some cooking shows and hearing about how good and cheap oxtail is I decided to search for some recipes and make braised oxtail. I don’t remember how I found this recipe. I also don’t know how much one oxtail weighs but I’m going with the 1 kilo I purchased at the butcher’s shop earlier tonight.

Braised Oxtail in Tomato and Red Wine

Take one oxtail, jointed. Brown the pieces well in hot olive oil – remove to an oven-proof casserole. Soften a mirepoix of carrot, celery, onion and garlic in the oil.

De-glaze the pan with a large glass of gutsy red wine (I suggest a decent Rioja), then add to the caserole. Add two tins of chopped tomatoes, bayleaf, thyme and season.

Bring to a gentle simmer, put on the lid and place in a low oven for appx 3 – 4 hours. N.B. It must cook very slowly and gently – I run my electric oven at just over 100C degrees to achieve a tremulous simmer.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then flake the meat from the bones and pop back into the sauce. Place in the fridge overnight, which will ripen the flavour, and allow you to skim off hardened fat as you feel necessary the next day.

Warm through when required and dress cooked linguine with the sauce. What’s left of the bottle of Rioja will be a perfect accompaniment.

I’ve also become interested in cooking seasonally, and inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, I kind of like the idea of finding a cookbook of British recipes that will take me through one year’s worth of seasonal cooking. I suspect River Cottage will be my best bet, but my roommate has also mentioned Nigel Slater and I also ran across the magazine Taste Britain, that looks amazing.

It also seems to be quite easy to shop locally here in Britain, there’s a big push to Buy British, and when we’re flipping out about how disgusting the beef industry’s destruction of the Brazilian rain forest is, the fact that you can know that you are buying beef that isn’t shipped overseas, that makes me feel better. G is trying to turn her household slow food/whole food but might not get very far with three young children’s picky appetites to assuage. I fare better with a much more adventurous adult male appetite to deal with.

Read Full Post »

Sunday morning, heading back south of the river from Bow, I was on the number 78 and crossing Tower Bridge when I looked out the window and had my first I-love-London moment. One day later, walking back over a different bridge at night, bike and boyfriend along this time, I had another. Maybe it’s just the river that I love. I’m not sure at this point because shortly thereafter, looking out over it from a pier, at a pink-floodlit building and houseboats moored at the center, trees lit up with blue and white lights, it just all seemed so surreal! I live in London! I have to learn how to get around on my bike! And on buses! Will I ever feel as well-settled as I did in NYC? I pretty much immediately took to that city though I did need about three years to feel like I lived there and wasn’t just visiting.

Two more days to the wedding! Tomorrow I finally get to meet the boyfriend’s mom, we’re so excited both our moms can be here for this! Many errands to do today; I pick up our rings and exchange his belt for the smaller one, and yes, I will ride my bike there. Eeek! I forgot to ask his help with the route! It’s up to me today, thank goodness I got up early (8 a.m.)!

Grocery store run for ingredients for root veg & lentil soup, homemade bouillon and enchiladas. That’ll probably be two runs unless I go on the bus, of which there are no convenient single-bus runs between us and the store.

We got our dress/suit back from the cleaners yesterday, mine’s floofing in the open bedroom but I still think I’ll need a petticoat. We have shoes, ties, hankies, makeup, jewelry, haircuts, … have I forgotten anything? *grin* We’ll know Saturday, won’t we?

OMG! Panic! Will I get everything done! Gotta get on it, starting with the three Ses.

Read Full Post »

Chocolate Pudding

I made chocolate pudding (that’s custard to you Brits) from scratch today! I’ve been wanting to make pudding from scratch for a while and decided to make it today on a whim. Since I don’t know what milk looks like just before it boils I had my face up close to the pot, which unnerved me, and am unconvinced I cooked it long enough. It thickened up, though, which I assumed was good. Then it thickened more in the second cooking stage. Not sure if it’ll thicken up like box pudding mix but I hope it will. Used dark chocolate, opted not to throw in any vanilla, at the last minute. It is delicious. I plan to follow up by making ‘nana puddin. Next week, I guess.

6 egg yolks
600 mL (1 pint) milk
50 g (2 oz) sugar
100 g (4 oz) plain chocolate, grated

1. Put the milk into a saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Remove from the heat.
2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and fluffy. Gradually pour the milk on to the eggs and sugar, whisking continously.
3. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over a very gentle heat, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until dissolved.
4. Serve the custard hot or cold. To cool the custard, pour into a bowl and place dampened greaseproof paper directly on to the surface to stop a ‘skin’ from forming. Chill.
ure to saucepan and stir over a very gentle heat, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until dissolved.

Edit: Believe them when they say to grate the chocolate and have patience, it will thicken properly overnight.

Read Full Post »