Sunday, August 27, 2017

A New Adventure - Mexican Inspired Oxtail Soup

I want a place to put my adventures. In life I've eaten many kinds of ways, and now I do my own thing. It's largely gluten free, often paleo or close to it, homemade with no cheats. But if you bitch about my food I will throw down and make a gluten filled, covered in dairy meal. I just might make my own cheese. And yes, I would be making the bread.  

Apparently Photos Count As Content. I made this meal with a friend, and the plating could have been better but we'd been at it a long time and were tired. Yay tacos!

I don't want to share with you my life history or what I like to do in the summer. I will tell you about food and how to cook it, and share my knowledge about food with you. I might talk about places to shop and things that pertain to food and my feelings about it. But I'm not telling you about my grandma or what I like to do on my perfect Sunday. I might tell you about food I've eaten. 

Apparently if you don't blather on for a while and talk about random ass shit browsers think that you have no 'content' and won't list you in the results, also how much time people spend on your site and blah, blah, blah. Also, everyone wants money for everything so all the sites are teeming with ads. Such bullshit. So, I have to have 'content'. 

I will give you a little story about my post I'll Bet Your Gluten Free Dumplings Suck. I took the recipe off. People were stealing my methods and then passing them off as their own (such is life and I'm not saying I haven't done it), I had an idea to start a business and needed to keep that a secret. It didn't happen (though I had much support from many fans, and several moms of rich children who can't eat anything but bark begging me to supply them with dumplings). I'm not giving you that recipe. I know what it is. I know how to do it, it's time consuming and a pain in the ass. Get the book Asian Dumplings by Nguyen and figure it out yourself. 

So.. Let's begin.

3 Day Mexican Inspired Oxtail Soup

I recently got a sous vide machine stick thingy mabobber. It's not the machine that holds water. It's a stick that you use a pot to make your own jerry rigged sous vide. You can buy these for a about $110-$200 online. I was very excited, the things I could cook slowly! I have been thinking 'what's the difference between this and a slow cooker?' Easily answered, slow cookers cook at one or two specific temperatures, and this can cook at any temperature I want it to. You want flavored oils? Easy (I now have like 5). You need pasteurized eggs? Done. Perfectly cooked meats, blah, blah, blah. 

I also came into possession of a pressure cooker. Between these two things, I've really upped my game. 

The one thing that apparently you can cook in your sous vide, that you might not think about is soup. I've been doing it, and it's really the way to go. Though, I've devised the slowest way to go about making soup known to man. But I'll bet my soup will blow your socks off. 

Let's get started. NOTE: There's several parts to this, you do what you want, you want to use unicorn blood instead of broth? Go ahead, but I don't want you posting comments that you changed the recipe and it didn't come out and this sucks, or that it did come out and was amazing. That's not my recipe and I don't give a rat's ass how your recipe went. I'll just delete it. 

This is a multi day recipe. It took me three days to make. 

Mexican Inspired Oxtail Soup

4-5 bowls

The Broth

Save your various veggie scraps in a gallon bag in the freezer until you have it full. Items might include:

Onion ends and skin (the skin has flavor)
Green onion ends
Carrot bits and peels
Celery bits and leaves
Pepper bits
Tomato ends
Herb stems (basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme)

Once your bag is full, pull out your pressure cooker and dump the contents in. You might add to it:

An onion
A broken up carrot
Bay leaf

For this recipe I had processed a bunch of Hatch Chilis and saved the tops from about a pound or two of them and put those in. 

Add water (NO SALT)

Cook according to your pressure cooker's instructions. I cook mine for about 40 minutes. Strain. Put into ice cube trays and freeze and seal in freezer bags. You can also (if you are crafty about it) put it in your seal a meal and freeze flat bricks of broth. I make 2 C. bags and label them. You will need 4 C. of stock, frozen.

The Other Things

2 lbs Beef Oxtail (if you can go to the butcher and get the biggest pieces you can, about 3 of them, I don't want to digress, the little pieces = FLAVOR, but sous vide often has space constraints)
1 Onion diced
1 Carrot diced
1-2 Jalapenos (seeded, not seeded, whatever you want) diced
1 can diced tomato
2 bay leaves
1-3 tsp Mexican oregano
1-2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Avocado oil


In a pan heat the oil and add the onion and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a pan, add a little oil and heat over medium high heat. Brown the ox tail on each side until crispy looking and golden brown. This doesn't need to be perfect, we're just adding flavor. Set aside. Deglaze the pan with a little water. 

In a bag that is going to work with your sous vide machine and hold all the ingredients (I use my seal a meal, it works fine and better than ziplock bags for long periods of time), put 4C. frozen stock (it needs to be frozen so you can seal the bag), the deglazing, veggies (all of them), spices and ox tail into the bag. Add about 1 Tbs kosher salt, more or less as you please, but about a tablespoon will be enough. Check your ingredients to make sure you put them all in the bag. Did you check? You can't just go add those things your forgot, go check again. Seal up the bag making sure there is no air in the bag (you might find as it cooks that there's some, this is ok, it's soup). At this point you can put it in the fridge overnight if you need to. 

Heat your sous vide machine up to 155 degrees F. Set the timer for 24 hours. When it's up to temp add the bag and attach it to the side of the container. I use my metal stock pot and some very strong magnets for this. Wait.

When it's done take it out and put the whole bag in a pot, sealed, and then in the fridge overnight. This GREATLY improves the flavor. 

Open the bag and scoop out all the oil and fat, this should be easy as it should be mostly solid. Remove the tail and put the rest of the soup into a pot and put over medium heat. Test for salt. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones (I actually kept mine, I added them to my beef stock bag, I wonder if there's more life in them. We will see). Chop up the meat, don't worry that it's not grey, it's perfectly cooked. Wait until the soup is heated up to add the meat and just warm through, or you could divide it up among bowls and just ladle the hot soup over. 

The Accouterments 

2.25 C Drained and Rinsed Pinto beans (I make my own, they're better that way)
2 Tbs Garlic oil 
2.5 oz Queso Fresco
2-3 Radishes
2 Tbs minced Cilantro

Using a mandolin and care slice the radishes and then stack up and cut into little strips. Crumble the Queso. In a pan over medium/medium high heat - heat the oil (make sure it's a big pan, and more oil won't hurt here). Fry the beans until they are crispy and set aside. 

Ladle the soup into bowls and top carefully with 1/4 C beans, .5 oz Queso Fesco, several radish slices and cilantro. 


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