Tag Archives: seaweed

The versatility of Cold Oxtail – part 1

11 Sep

Apart from cooked sliced tongue, it’s quite hard to find offal that will go in sandwiches. You can’t even find a ready-made sandwich with offal in (unless you’re counting sausage, but then they invariably have ketchup in which I just can’t stomach). Kidney sammich, anyone? To remedy this I slow-cooked a lovely oxtail with the express purpose of using it cold. Oh yes. You can’t keep me in that box. I’m not Schroedinger’s Cat.

Here is my lovely ox tail from Walsingham Farm Shop – a present from my Mum – and you should definitely visit if you’re in Norfolk. I meant to take a picture of the label (which specifies some details about the beast that provided the tail), but forgot – however there is a great page about their suppliers on the website. This sort of transparency in origin is what was emphasised in my abattoir visit. Yet I do remember, growing up in Lincolnshire, it being perfectly normal to know who farmed the animals you were eating (and you probably wouldn’t trust a butcher who couldn’t tell you).* I decided to add some flavours and chose black cardoman, tamarind and mugwort. I shouldn’t have put the mugwort in as the stronger flavours swallowed it up …

Then you cover it all with water and I slow cooked it on high for about six hours. The next step was to separate the meat from the stock, and then the bones from the meat. You will have a jug of beefy, taily deliciousness and a bowl of juicy, beefy meat.
I put both of them in the fridge and waited to use them.

The first thing I wanted to use was the delicious stock, so I had a stab at making a beef noodle soup. Of course, all the fat had risen to the top of the stock, so I scraped a lot of it off, used some to fry my peppers and put the rest away for later use.

It had set into a jelly (because of the lovely bones) – with a nice spicy layer at the bottom of thicker gravy. It all goes in! I really wanted to taste the stock, so kept the rest quite simple. I fried some onion and peppers, then added some rehydrated seaweed, the stock and the noodles, then boiled it all together so the noodles were done. Added some spinach at the end, bob’s your uncle. I put a blob of harissa in the middle too.

A lovely meal, from a jug of stock and some cupboard bits and bats.

If you don’t think about making stock already – please do try it out. You can ask your butcher for some bones, or use leftover ones (a perfect example is an eaten around chicken carcass). All I then do is boil it for a number of hours until all the bones come away from each other  (I don’t know if that’s a professional way to judge it, but it appears to work for me). You can add veg and things, but I tend to be a stock purist. Sieve it to get the bones n ting out, then you can either use it within a week, or freeze it to use at your leisure. Risotto totally is best with homemade stock. And it’s really good for you – lots of trace elements are kept in bones, so real stock can help boost your immune system! If it sounds like a faff, kept your eye out for reduced fresh stock in the supermarket, as you can freeze it ready for risotto o clock!

I can hear you asking, what else did she make with the ox tail? Stay tuned for part 2!

*I am aware of the quotation marks around “normal for Lincolnshire” – this can be seen to include tracing six generations back with strangers (you never know who you are related to) and every tenth house having a surplus veg stall outside.

Revamped Seaweed, Spinach and Nigerian Trotter Stew – Nose to Tail Fortnight Day 3

2 May

We were meant to have testicles today, but I mis read the delivery date and they are in fact coming tomorrow. The funniest part of this was me waking up on one of very few lie-in days at 7am waiting nervously for a bang on the door and the balls to arrive. Didn’t happen. Too eager.

So what to have today? Despite being on holiday, the day turned quite full. Errands and lunch out and SNOOKER. We walked through the market, but didn’t have time to do any offal inspection. Luckily there was some of our Nigerian Trotter Stew left over from yesterday. One thing to note is that feet really do have gelatine in them. The sauce had turned to a jelly. That was odd looking, but something good to remember.

So night, to revamp them!

I started with the sauce, I wanted to have depth, rather than punch, so added quarter tsp tamarind paste, half tsp ground ginger, quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Stirred in and set it to simmer for ten minutes while my seaweed rehydrated.

Yes. I bloody love seaweed. It’s taken me a while to start having it at home, but now I am devoted. There are several reasons – one is that it keeps in its packet it the cupboard for ages, another is that its amazing for you health-wise, a third is that it is really easy to prepare (just soak in cold water for ten mins and its ready). I have some Clearspring, but there’s lots of others. I then added the rest of a bag of spinach (about 200g). And did a little simmer for five minutes. DONE!

It’s pretty delicious! If you want the original recipe have a look at my previous post! I’m sorry I didn’t deliver testicles like I promised, but I hope you’ll be with in me in thinking that eating the leftovers and re-vamping them is all part of the sustainable eating I’m trying to promote.

One thing I would be tempted to do in the future, would be to buy a load of trotters, make a load of the basic sauce and then have portions ready to be vamped up!

As an update, here’s where we are on the carcass: