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Glazed Oxtail with Prawn Quenelles, Oxtail Broth and Pickled Radish. Accompanied by Mini Miso buns.

Glazed oxtail in an oxtail broth.
A rich glazed oxtail dish with prawn quenelles, pickled radish and mini miso buns.

“Oxtail and Prawns!!” I hear you exclaim. The same indignation, to my choice of ingredients, was forthcoming from two family members. Not one to take umbrage, I set out to offer them the ‘proof in the pudding’ as it were.
Later that day, the soothsayers of culinary fusion were not only eating ‘oxtail and prawns’ but their negative words also.

Ingredients:

Oxtail: makes approx’ 1.5 litres of broth.
600g oxtail or 4-6 cuts of oxtail.
270g celery or 4-5 sticks – chopped.
150g red onion or 2 small red onions – chopped.
150g carrot or 1 large carrot – peeled and sliced.
50g unsalted butter.
1.2 litre of rich beef stock. One Knorr rich beef stock pot is fine.
1/2 litre of water.
3 tsps tomato puree.
2 bay leaves.
2 sprigs of fresh thyme.
2 tsps chopped parsley.
2 garlic cloves – sliced.

Glaze:
300ml rich beef stock. Half a Knorr rich beef stock pot is fine.
3 dessert spoons of honey.
2 dessert spoons white wine vinegar.
1 dessert spoon of light soy sauce.
Black pepper to season.

Prawn Quenelles: makes approx’ twelve if using teaspoons.
200g cooked prawns.
20ml double cream.
1 egg white.
1/2 tsp wasabi paste.
Seasoning – salt and pepper.

Pickled Radish:
4-5 radish sliced.
1 level dessert spoon of sea salt.
50ml white wine vinegar.
1 1/2 dessert spoons of sugar.

Mini Miso Buns: makes approx’ 12 buns.
200g strong bread flour.
125ml warm water.
1 tsp sugar.
7g fresh yeast or 1 dessert spoon of dried yeast or 1 tsp of easy yeast.
2 tsps ground coriander.
2 heaped tsps miso paste.
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tabls of water for egg wash.
1 tsp of caraway or sesame seeds.
Extra flour for kneading.

Garnish:
1 spring onion cut in to fine strips.

Method/cook:

Oxtail:
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C/425°F.
Place cuts of oxtail in a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and roast in the oven until well browned. Aprox’ 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the oxtails roast start to prepare the broth.
Melt the butter in a large pan.
Add the celery, onion and carrot to the butter and sweat until soft.
Next, add the tomato puree and cook out for several minutes.
Add the stock, water, herbs and garlic and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering remove from the heat.
When the oxtails have roasted, add them to the broth and simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the oxtail meat is tender.
When the oxtails are cooked turn off the heat and leave the broth and oxtails to cool in the pan. Once cooled remove the oxtails and set aside.
Season the broth with salt and pepper. Blend the broth with a hand blender and pass through a sieve. Set aside.

Mini Miso Buns: (Don’t add salt as the miso paste is salty.)
Firstly mix the flour with the coriander – set aside.
If using fresh yeast or active dried yeast, dissolve yeast with the warm water and the sugar.
After yeast has fermented, and frothed up, add to the flour and coriander. Form a dough and kneed for 5 minutes.
Place dough in a floured bowl. Cover the dough and leave to prove, in a warm place, until doubled in size.
Next, on a floured surface, roll out the dough to approx’ 13cm x 11cm. Spread with miso paste (see image)
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Fold the dough over a 1/3 (see image)
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Fold the dough over another 1/3 to create an oblong (see image)
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Spread more miso paste over the top half. (see image)
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Fold the bottom half of the dough up over the top half. (see image)
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Roll out the pastry to approx’ 20cm x 30cm. (see image)
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Roll up the pastry in to a sausage shape. (see image)
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Once rolled, cut in to 10-12 slices. (see image)
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Lightly dust each slice with flour and press down with the palm of your hand. (see image)
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Place your dough portions on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway or sesame seeds. Leave to prove and double in size. (See image)
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Once proved, bake at gas 7 or 220°C/425°F for 20 minutes.
Once baked place on a cooling rack. (See image)

Once cooled, store the buns in an airtight container.

Prawn Quenelles:
Place prawns, egg white, wusabi and seasoning in a food processor.
Blitz to a smooth paste.
Add the cream and blitz until thoroughly combined.
Using two teaspoons, form quenelles with the prawn mix.
Steam the quenelles in a bamboo steamer over a pan of simmering water for 4 minutes. (see image)
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Note: If you don’t have a steamer, poach the quenelles
in simmering water.
When the quenelles are cooked, remove from the steamer, and set aside.

Pickled Radish:
In a dish, sprinkle the slices of radish with the salt.
Leave for 2 hours and drain off any liquid.
Rinse the radish in cold water and then dry.
Heat the vinegar and sugar in a pan. Once boiling pour over the radish.
Leave the radish for 1-2 hours to pickle. Set aside.

Glaze:
Set oven to gas 7 or 220°C/425°F
Place all the glaze ingredients in to a saute pan and bring to a simmer.
Add the previously cooked oxtails.
Spoon over the glaze and place in the oven to re-heat.
Cook the oxtails in the glaze for 35-40 mins. Baste at 10 minute intervals.
When the oxtails are heated, remove the pan from the oven, place on the hob, and continue to reduce the glaze for several minutes while basting the oxtails.
Set aside and keep warm.

Now that all the prep is done it’s time to put the dish together.

Re-heat the broth and the quenelles.
Place a ladle full of broth in to each of your warm serving bowls.
Place a glazed oxtail in to each bowl, followed by portions of quenelles and pickled radish.
Garnish with spring onion and drizzle with extra glaze.

Enjoy.

food blogging, pork cheeks

Pork Cheeks

Pork cheeks are tender and delicious. Served with an apple and Madeira sauce.

Pork Cheeks.
Pork cheeks served with an apple and Madeira sauce. Accompanied with roasted beetroot, parsnips, mashed potatoes and apple crisps.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

For braising the cheeks:
8-12 pork cheeks.
1/2 red onion – chopped.
1/4 of a fresh leek – sliced.
1 stick of celery – chopped.
1 Bay leaf.
Sprig of thyme.
Sprig of parsley.
Knob of butter.
2 tbls olive oil.
900ml of beef stock.
2 cloves of garlic – no need to peel.

Madeira and apple sauce:
1/2 red onion – chopped.
4 chestnut or button mushrooms – sliced.
1 tbls red wine vinegar.
Knob of butter.
100ml Madeira wine.
100ml fresh apple juice.
salt and black pepper for seasoning.
pinch of sugar.
All the stock/liquor left over from cooking the cheeks. (strained)

Accompaniments:
5 medium potatoes for mash.
Pinch of nutmeg – optional.
3 parsnips.
3 fresh beetroot.
2 apples.
1/2 lemon.
Fresh thyme.
Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Method:
Heat your oven to gas 4 or 180°C / 350°F
Remove the silver sinewy membrane from the pork cheeks. A filleting knife is ideal as you can remove the membrane like removing skin from a fillet of fish. Place pork cheek sinew side down and slide the blade of the knife between sinew and the meat of the cheeks.

In a non-stick sauté pan seal and lightly brown the pork cheeks in the olive oil.
Once sealed, remove pork cheeks from the pan and set aside.
Pour any excess oil out of the sauté pan.
Now add the butter, onion, celery and leek to the sauté pan and lightly fry until just starting to brown.
When onion, celery and leek are starting to brown add the sealed pork cheeks, beef stock, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and garlic to the pan.
Bring contents of sauté pan to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Once simmering, place a lid on your sauté pan and cook the cheeks for two hours in the oven.
When the pork cheeks are cooked, remove the cheeks from the cooking liquor/stock and set aside.
Strain the cooking liquor/stock. Skim off any grease with a small spoon and set the stock aside to make the sauce later.

Note: If you don’t have a sauté pan suitable for the oven – just use a casserole dish.

Note: If you have space in your oven, cook the beetroot and parsnips at the same time as your pork cheeks. If not, cook the pork cheeks first as they take 2 hours.  You also need the cooking liquor/stock from the pork cheeks to complete the dish.

Beetroot:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Place whole, unskinned, beetroots in a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven.
Depending on the size, they will take 1 hour to 2 hours to cook. Once cooked, set aside.

Parsnips:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Half and quarter the parsnips.
Place on a baking tray – drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
When the parsnips are cooked set aside for later.
Tip: Before placing in the oven, Sprinkle parsnips with brown sugar for extra sweetness.

Mashed potatoes:
Peel and quarter potatoes.
Place in a pan and cover with cold water.
Bring pan of potatoes to a gentle rolling boil and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Drain potatoes, add a knob of butter, season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher or ricer.
Set mash aside for later.

Note: If you want gloopy ‘chefs mash’ add cream and more butter – I find with this dish the Madeira sauce is rich enough without the use of cream and excesses of butter..

Apple crisps:
Set oven to gas 5 or 190°C / 375°F
Note: You can prepare these the day before and store in an airtight container.

Have ready a bowl of cold water containing a squeeze of lemon.
Slice apples (3-4mm thick) and remove any pips. Place apple slices in the bowl of water and lemon – this stops the apples from going brown.
Dry apple slices and place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
Bake until crisp for 40-50 minutes.

Madeira and Apple sauce: (the stock/liquor from the cooked pork cheeks is used to complete the sauce)
Melt butter in a frying/sauté pan.
Fry onion and mushroom until soft and lightly brown.
Add red wine vinegar and reduce.
Add Madeira wine and flame to burn off the alcohol. (flame Madeira by turning up the heat and tilting edge of the pan toward the hob flame – or use a kitchen blow torch.)
Once the alcohol has burned off, add the apple juice, a pinch of sugar and all of the, strained, stock from the cooked pork cheeks. Reduce sauce by a quarter.
Note: I like to leave the red onion and mushroom in the final sauce, but you can strain it if you prefer.

Serving:
Heat the Madeira sauce and add the cooked pork cheeks – thoroughly heat until the cheeks are piping hot.
Warm your cooked beetroot, parsnips and mashed potatoes.
Serve with a side of apple crisps.
Tip: Sprinkle tender shoots of fresh Thyme over each plate.

Tip: The pork cheeks can be cooked a day in advance – let them cool and store the cheeks and strained stock in a refrigerator.