A few weeks ago I complained loudly to a fellow cooking classmate about the trouble I have finding interesting meat in Manhattan. He recommended I check out the butchers at Essex Market.
This morning I woke up to sunshine and 70-degree weather, which felt like a perfect day for market, but sadly I’m still about 2 months early for local produce. Rather than be deterred, I decided to take my classmate’s tip and explore Essex.
I was really hoping for venison, or a rabbit, but ended up with a huge bag of oxtail, along with some okra and green plantains I bought on impulse. I set up the crock-pot in an attempt to both braise my meat and avoid using the oven on such a nice warm day.
2.5 lbs Oxtail, cut into 1.5″ sections
1 medium Spanish onion, sliced into half moons
1/2 lb okra, cut into 1/2″ bites
2 medium green plantain, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ rounds
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Thai chili sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
I combined everything except parsley in the crock-pot and cooked on high for about 6 hours, then served with wild rice.
Not bad. The oxtail was perfectly tender and okra added a lot to the consistency. Next time I would double the chili sauce for a little more kick.