Chinese Oxtail Stew

Amazing recipe. Who would’ve thought that I could find such authentic Chinese flavors on NYTimes?…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 to 6 pounds oxtails, cut into pieces, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 star anise, broken into pieces
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths, plus 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish
  • 6 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 orange, 4 large strips of zest removed with a vegetable peeler and reserved
  • Cooked rice, for serving.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat oven to 300F. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, brown oxtail all over, removing each piece when done. Add oil as needed.

2. When done browning, pour off extra fat from bottom of empty pot and set pot over high heat. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sugar with 2 cups water and pour into pot. Add star anise, 2-inch pieces of scallions, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Return oxtails to pot and add orange zest. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook 1½ hours.

3. Turn over pieces of oxtail, cover again and cook 1½ hours more, or until oxtail is very tender. Transfer oxtail pieces to a baking dish. Strain sauce into a separate saucepan; discard contents of strainer. Cover oxtails and sauce and refrigerate overnight.

4. The next day, heat oven to 300 degrees; remove oxtails and sauce from refrigerator. Lift off any fat on surface of sauce and discard. Gently warm sauce until liquid, then pour over oxtails. Cover with foil or a lid and bake 30 minutes.

5. Uncover, stir and raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes. Stir again and cook another 15 minutes, until hot and glazed thickly with sauce. Meanwhile, squeeze ¼ cup juice from orange. Remove oxtails from oven, stir in orange juice, and serve in bowls over rice. Sprinkle each serving with thin scallion slices.

Yield: 4 servings.

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