Saturday, January 22, 2011
This cut of meat is full of connective tissue and fat, and as such must be braised for a long time over low heat to release its qualities - and it is a quality cut, if handled right. There's no such thing as an oxtail steak, for obvious reasons. It would be fatty and very, very chewy indeed.
Minas Gerais. This region is Brazil's dairyland, famous for milk and cheese, and so there's a ready supply of cattle for butchering. Also, because of it's mid-southerly location and its high altitude in Minas Gerais the winter months of June/July/August can be cold indeed, especially at night when the temperature can approach 32F (0C). Perfect weather for enjoying a hearty and nourishing stew of slow-cooked meat and root vegetables - Brazilian comfort food. Which is exactly what the most well-known dish made is rabo is - an oxtail stew called rabada, rich and redolent. And very filling!
In the next post here on Flavors of Brazil there will be a recipe for rabanada. Oxtail is generally available in good butcher shops in North America and Europe, even though it might not be featured on supermarket shelves. Ask your butcher for it on a cold rainy or snowy day, early in the morning. Let it cook all afternoon, and in the evening you'll be warmed down to the very cockles of your heart. I promise. Give oxtail a try - you won't regret it.