I had a salad with goat cheese and a “green drink” for lunch today. Just feel like it was all too healthy … too green for my gullet. Going to give my innards a break and provide only a protein drink for dinner; no more items from the BRASSICA family. That and I guess I just am not hungry. Chalk it up to the change of time. Making a list for the week of things I’d like to get settled and things I’d like to get to … exercise will probably be on the later as that habit has not yet formed. Another day on the road will lead to a lot of coffee (bad) and a lot of time to think (good). Maybe I’ll be able to stop at the gym on the way home. Guess I need to change my route so that I at least drive by the place.
Looks like it is a NO-Cook Monday.
OK! I can feel the disappointment each day I don’t timely post. Mea culpa!
Yesterday I started the experiment with OXTAIL … and the beginning of an oxtail soup or soup base. Mixed results, but lots of learning experiences. Oh goodie! how I love such “experiences” JK
1st lesson: check the total weight of your Sam’s Club oxtail package before putting them ALL into the pot to brown. Pressure cooker book suggested 2 lbs, after finding a very tight fit, checked the plastic wrap to find I had almost 4 lbs ….
2nd lesson: when you realize you have too much meat in the pot to brown – take out 1/2 NOW. Don’t wait and see how it goes …
3rd lesson: one needs cheese cloth or one of those mesh things to keep some of the spices together and make them easy to remove – the decision to toss them in, may have lead to a bitter stock
4th lesson: watch the pressure to ensure you did not turn the heat down too far … the meat should come off the bone without need for very sharp knives and lots of elbow grease and a properly set mouth.
Ingredients: oxtail, olive oil, sage – herbes de provence, black pepper corns and 2 bay leaves in a bouquet garni, one onion, two stalks of celery, two cans of Guiness or another dark beer, 3 cups of water.
- Brown oxtail in the oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Ensure the pieces are browned on all sides and that you haven’t over-crowed the pot (see lessons 1 & 2 above)
- Remove the meat and set aside
- Cut the onions in half then quarters, slice the celery – add both to the pot and cook until the onions are softened. (3 to 6 minutes)
- Add the spices (see lesson 3 above about the bouquet — oh well), the meat, the beer and the water and cover and latch the pot
- Bring up to pressure and turn down to the lowest heat that will maintain pressure (see lesson 4) and cook for 35 minutes – Use the natural release method to de-pressurize.
- Remove the meat and allow to cool
- Strain the remaining broth to remove the vegetables and spices (colander with cheese cloth); discard the vegetables
- Remove the meat from the bones and add back into the broth.
Now you are ready to make a soup – adding root vegetables or what ever you have in the pantry/freezer. I will be adding collard greens and left-over frozen root veggies. That is today’s project. The oxtail did not come off the bone well – probably because I did not cook them long enough. Tasty bits that I did remove. I have the other half of the browned oxtail in the freezer – next time a hotter simmer.
Still working on the pomegranates — beginning to eye the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and to think about baking (egads) with the pips, cranberries and chocolate … just thinking, but I did notice a packet of yeast in the pantry … and there is a plethora of flour in the freezer … and the mixer is just sitting there staring at me!