I’m blogging backward so if you read my last post you already know what i did with the leftovers from this project. If you didn’t, go there… and quick!
Sure, this oxtail and foie-gras terrine has the coarse appearance of a geological sample but i can guarantee you there’s no spinosaurus fossil stuck in there. The wine-braised oxtail meat, sweet, rich and tender, wraps around the silky foie gras, picks up contrasting tones from the artichokes and vegetables, earthy flavors from the mushrooms and then dissolves on the tongue to tickle your senses.
Not only oxtail is a delicious cut of meat but it contains so much cartilage, marrow and tendons that the long braising period turns the braising liquid into an intense broth loaded with natural gelatin. Strain and let the broth cool off and you end up with a dense meat jello. Yes, i’m aware that meat jello sounds disgusting. I promise i won’t say meat jello again.
With the shredded oxtail meat on one side and the broth on the other you are free to come up with any terrine layering you can think of. Artichokes, mushrooms and vegetables are perfect for this and so is a big chunk of foie-gras in the middle. Hard boiled quail eggs? Why not! Slices of black truffle? Hell yea! A shoe? Not recommended! You’re the architect of your own terrine so you can play with whatever design of flavors you can think of. The great thing about this terrine is that it can be made ahead of time. As a matter of fact, it’s even better made several days ahead.
Bring it to a party with some cornichons, mustards and a loaf of country bread and you’re sure to make some friends. Or you might get mugged. Oh well.
Braised Oxtail & Foie-Gras Terrine
- Serves 8
- Adapted from Daniel Boulud in “Cooking in New York City”
For the braised oxtail:
- 4 pounds oxtail, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 stick butter
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 head garlic, cut in half
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 8 cups beef or veal stock
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 300′F.
- Season the oxtail pieces with salt & pepper. Melt 3/4 of the butter in a dutch oven, add the oxtail and brown on side. Transfer the oxtail to a platter and discard the excess fat.
- Melt the remaining butter in the same pan and add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the oxtail back to the pan and the beef or veal stock. Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Cover the pan with a lid and braise in the oven for 3 hours.
- Remove the meat and strain the liquid. Discard the vegetables. Degrease the broth. Remove the meat from the bones whiles they’re still hot and add salt and pepper if necessary.
For the vegetables:
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 turnips, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 artichokes hearts, sliced
- 1/2 lb white mushrooms, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 sprig of thyme
- salt & pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the carrots, turnips and celery. Cool, drain and reserve.
- Saute the slices of artichoke in olive oil, garlic & thyme. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside to cool.
To assemble the terrine:
- 1/2 pound foie-gras terrine
- Line the inside of a 3 by 9-inch terrine with plastic wrap. Place 1-inch layer of oxtail meat in the bottom of the mold and 1 cup oxtail broth. Arrange 1/2 the vegetables on a layer on top of the meat. Arrange the foie gras (cut the long way) in the middle of the terrine. Place the remaining vegetables on top and finish with another layer of oxtail meat. Pour another cup of oxtail broth over the terrine. Cover the terrine and refrigerate overnight. Better after 2 or 3 days.