Oxtail Stew is a tasty entree at any meal. Made from oxtail, a gelatin rich meat, it fills ones stomach on these brisk spring mornings throughout Colorado.
2 lb of oxtail cut into chunks
1 minced onion
2 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 sprigs of fresh sage
4 pints of water
2 slices of toasted bread
1 cup of vinegar
¼ tsp. each of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, fennel, and lavender.
A pinch of saffron (optional, but recommended if you don’t mind purchasing it)
If you are scaling this recipe down, do not add less water. This is important. Boil the chunked meat all together in a large pot at medium heat. Then add the spices, herbs, and minced onion. Let it all re-boil and allow simmering until the meat is falling off of the tail bone. This will take approximately four hours. Check on the stew periodically to make sure it doesn’t become dry before the four hours. This is to say, add water if there is more than a quarter of an inch of exposed meat any time before the last hour, though this shouldn’t happen if you use the correct amount of water in a covered pot under medium low heat. Remove the bones, which can be used to flavor a broth later if desired. Take the toasted bread (preferably, lightly burned) and add it to 1 cup of vinegar. Push this mush through a strainer, making sure to remove as much vinegar as possible in the process. Do not do this over the stew, while you might add vinegar later, you also may not so do it over a sink. This mush will act as a roux for this stew. A roux is a thickening agent traditionally made from flour and some sort of fat and is commonly used in the ‘mother sauces’ of classical French cooking, as well as in stews and gravy. Add in this mush to the stew, but do this gradually and stirring while doing it. Add enough to thicken the stew. Allow stew to boil once more time, and then add your saffron. Do not use too much, as saffron can be overpowering in larger amount. Season as desired with salt and vinegar.