Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Menu del Dia: Braised Oxtails

As promised, here is another meal cooked from the new cookbook, Menu del Dia (reviewed here). Last night we jumped in with a rather lengthy meal of three dishes.

First was the Patatas con Chorizo (p. 47). Potatoes, onion, garlic, chorizo, and dried peppers - we used Nora peppers since we had just received them from our Spanish distributor. Covered with water and boiled down until soft. I'm a potato fan so these were very good to me with the delicate potatoes providing the comforting fill, with the occasional zest of the chorizo. I'm not sure that I can identify the taste of the nora as it tasted like any other mild pepper to me (pequin, arbol, etc.).

Next we had the Espinacas a la Catalana (Spinach with pine nut and raisin) (p. 51). We've made similar dishes many times before, and greens are always a hit in our house. The ratio of nuts and raisins to greens was very nice in this dish. We used our peppery Zoe brand olive oil which was a nice choice (over our many other oils that are more fruity, grassy).

Finally was the Rabo de Toro (Braised Oxtail) (p. 92) This dish took many hours to complete, and unfortunately we didn't have the tails from "Fighting Bulls" as listed in the ingredients. But we did have tails from some locally raised cows. This was my first oxtails (at least that I can remember), and certainly was a pain in my ass, as well as the bull's. It was very good, intensely rich and flavorful, and well paired with the other two dishes. The gelatinous nature of oxtails is not necessarily to either of our liking. Tyler attempted to have some manners and ate with his fork and knife, resulting in very little meat; while I dug in with both hands, resulting in very little meat.

So, our first full meal from the book - the results...the meal was exactly as he put it out for us. This is not fancy frilly Spanish cooking. This is a basic, working class meal. All of the flavors were right on. The labor was a bit much for our busy lives, but we didn't choose the fastest dishes. I would certainly make this again for friend and family, but not a fancy dinner party. This was our Menu del Martes.


Manggy said...

Hmm, I would have thought you'd rather save the labor-intensive dishes for guests (but then again your definition of labor-intensive is on a completely different plane from mine ;). Totally LOL about the amount of meat from the tail :)

Gfron1 said...

The labor is less important to me than eat-ability. This meal requires messy faces and messy hands, so I would save it for friends.

Tyler Connoley said...

I thought the labor wasn't bad. It took a long time to cook, but not that long to prepare. And, once it was prepared, it was just a matter of stirring once every half hour.

The flavor was outstanding. I especially liked the potatoes, which came out a bright orange color.