Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spanish-Style Oxtails Braised with Chorizo (Page 444)

RECIPE #1166

  • Date: Monday, May 3, 2010 -- 8pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Ana
  • Recipe Rating: B

I spotted oxtails at Berkeley Bowl and I immediately thought of this recipe! I started by browning the pieces of oxtail, then I removed them from the pot. I next cooked chorizo which had been ground in the food processor, onions, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf. I added paprika, then white wine, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. I added the oxtails and some chopped tomatoes and braised the mixture in the oven, covered, for several hours. I then stirred in some parsley, cilantro, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. I had mixed feelings about this dish. On the upside, the sauce was delicious! The combination of the chorizo with the beefy flavor of the oxtails was wonderful. The sauce was hearty and super-tasty. On the downside, while the oxtails were tasty, it was really a lot of work to extricate the small bits of meat from all the cartilage and fat. The dish was very hard to eat. I wondered if the dish would have been just as good, and easier to eat, if I had made it with beef brisket.

The recipe is here.

Today is our one-year wedding anniversary! It has been a truly amazing year of marriage and I feel blessed every day by my special gentleman. He is everything I could want in a husband and a huge source of joy in my life.

We are still in Japan, staying in a mountain cabin with 30 other mathematicians, so our first anniversary wasn't super romantic! My special gentleman is teaching a mini-course here, so he started the day by lecturing. He also had to attend many other talks and plan his lecture for tomorrow, so there wasn't too much time to celebrate. We did, however, go for a hike with some friends in the afternoon, up the mountain that the cabin is on. A picture of us mid-hike:

It was an extremely beautiful hike. The scenery was enhanced by the mist in the air to make everything seem quite enchanted.

It had been raining most of the day though, and parts of the trail went through a marsh, so the trail was quite wet. In the marshy parts there were wooden planks to walk on, but in more than one place, the planks were submerged in water. So, there I was, crossing a marsh area on some wooden planks submerged in about an inch of water, when I decided to make a small leap to a dryer part of the plank. The "dry" part that I landed on was actually wet, and incredibly slippery, so the foot that I had hoped to land on slipped out from under me and I fell hard onto wooden planks and marsh water. I was less concerned with the fact that I was soaked in mud, and more concerned that I might have broken my left hand, which hit the wood quite hard when I fell. It did not feel good. Now, several hours later, it is still quite painful (I am typing this mostly one-handed...) but I am confident it isn't broken.

Luckily, we were near the end of our hike, so I didn't spend too long out in the cold, soaked in cold water. Unluckily, the communal bath is closed from 9am - 5pm, so 2:15pm is not a great time to fall into a marsh. I washed myself as best I could with the sink, changed into dry clothes, and headed for the bath right at 5pm!

The rest of the day has been uneventful. Below is a shot of our not-so-romantic anniversary dinner, before all the mathematicians descended on the dining hall:

Now I am sitting in bed, watching my special gentleman work on his lecture for tomorrow, and feeling lucky to have such an amazing husband. Yay for one blissful year of marriage, and many more to come!

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