Grandma Aki's Oxtails
From The Great American Meat Book (Canada, UK), by Merle Ellis.
This delicious oxtail dish comes not from my
Midwestern side of the family but from my wife's
Hawaiian grandmother. They raise a lot of cattle in
1 large or 2 small oxtails (2-1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into
sections by cutting through the cartilage between the joints
with a large kitchen knife
Water to cover for parboiling, plus 2 quarts for cooking
3 or 4 cloves star anise
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 tsp red-pepper flakes
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
Put the oxtails in a good-sized pot, cover with
water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the
heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, so that scum
that can cloud the finished sauce rises to the
surface. Drain the oxtails in a colander and rinse
them and the pot with water.
Return the oxtails to the pot and add the 2 quarts
of water, the star anise, and the cinnamon. Cover
the pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and
simmer gently for 1 hour.
Add the pepper flakes, brown sugar, and soy
sauce, cover, and continue simmering for 2 more
hours, until the meat is tender and almost falling
from the bone. Remove the oxtails to a serving
platter. Turn the heat to high. Boil the sauce 4 to 5
minutes, until it has reduced by a third. The brown
sugar causes the sauce to thicken to a rich, shiny
gravy. Pour the sauce over the oxtails and enjoy.
Don't try to be neat! Serve with rice or pilaf.
Yield: Serves 4.