Veal tail stew

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Our urban culture doesn’t appreciate the true value of veal tail. It is a pity, but it’s not too late to turn the tables in our favor, as there are a few good minutes left in this round, if you don’t mind my wording. I found veal tails at Metro (vacuum packed), at a fairly reasonable price. In the market place they are cheaper, but they are harder to find. Four tails were less than 30 lei. I made out of them two pans of stew that fed 6 people and I even gave some to neighbors, just to have a taste. Why two? First, because I had plenty of raw material, second, because by using the same amount of electric power (of the oven) I was able to obtain two different dishes and third, because I wanted to explore two directions, a European one and an Asian one. My story begins with the European one:
I washed the tails, I removed the layer of thick skin from the surface (this is not the skin covering the animal on the outside, that had already been removed, but it’s a hard tissue that doesn’t cook regardless of how long you keep it on fire) and I left the pieces as you see them. Cutting is easy if you put the knife between the vertebrae, in the middle, in the softest, most deepened area. I heated a pan with a bit of oil and I browned the tails on all sides, not only for the taste, but also to slightly burn the pan.

coziI chopped three onions, a hot pepper, a bell pepper, two cloves of garlic. I put them in the pan from which I removed the tail pieces.

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After the vegetables absorbed the heat (without browning), I poured in the contents of a can of tomatoes (450 grams). The tomato paste deglazed the pan. I left it on the stove until it started to caramelize (8-10 minutes).

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I put the veal tails back in the pan and covered them with hot water. I also added three bay leaves, a pinch of coarse sea salt, 10-12 peppercorns, a bit of grated nutmeg.

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I covered the pan and placed it into the pre-heated oven, at 150 degrees Celsius, for 4 hours. I removed the foil from the pan, I took out the grease from the surface, I added 4 potatoes cut into quarters, 2-3 sliced carrots, a few pieces of artichoke that had already been marinated (this is how I bought it from Italians), a bit of tarragon. I stirred and I left the pan in the oven for another hour, but this time without the foil.

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The stew had more sauce, but I preferred putting less in the plate for photographic reasons.

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Next to it, I served an avocado, chili pepper, bean sprout and caper salad (which also matched the second stew).

salata

For the Asian style stew, I did basically the same, yet in a different manner. Here it is:
I cleaned/washed/diced carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, hot pepper. I slightly browned them in a pan (in which I had previously browned the tails).

legume

Up until the step with the canned tomatoes (inclusively), the steps were the same. Afterwards began the important changes. The first one: I poured 150 milliliters of lime juice over the meat.

lime juice

Instead of covering the tails with water, I covered them with beef stock (made from roasted bones), in which I boiled cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. I put the lid on and left the pan in the oven for four hours. I then removed the lid, added three tablespoons of oyster sauce, a tablespoon of fish sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce.

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I completed this stew by adding to it a handful of cilantro leaves.

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I ate it with rice noodles, shimeji mushrooms, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves and chili pepper and garlic sauce (Sriracha).

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Both stews were appreciated, but the classical one was preferred to the Asian one.

tocanăYou will be able to come across the Asian style stew and a wonderful veal tail soup, also prepared in Asian style, on Saturday, May 10th, at noon, at Escargot, on 101 Toamnei street, Bucharest. I couldn’t refuse my friends’ invitation there, therefore I will cook these two goodies for all those who wish to spend lunchtime in the glycine garden. Reservations and other details here.

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Special thanks to
Oana Bodnariuc, Authorized Translator
oana.bodnariuc@gmail.com
facebook.com/oana.bodnariuc

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