Our friend Jay Wolman, head chef at LaLou, shared this succulent oxtail and polenta recipe with us. We'd like to share it with you.
"Oxtail is one of my favorite cuts from the cow. Fatty, rich, absolutely delicious. There are plenty of great ways to use them, but this time I've chosen the all-day affair of a slow braise. This dish speaks to me through its simplicity but also because of how humble and comforting it is. Aromas will fill the room throughout the day, making the end result taste even better." - Jay
2 pounds oxtail
4 cups beef broth
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
7 cipollini onions
4 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary, stem removed and finely chopped
Salt for seasoning
2 cups fine polenta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. Start by trimming any excess fat from the oxtails. Keep this fat to render and palace into a large oven-safe pout to being. Season the oxtails generously with salt and black pepper. Once the fat in the pan has cooked off enough liquid, remove the remaining fat and add the oxtails to the pot, browning them on all sides. Once you've reached good color, remove the meat from the pot and immediately add onions, rosemary, and garlic. Let this cook for a few minutes, and then add beef broth. Return the oxtails to the pot and cover. Place the pot into the oven and let cook for at least 4 hours or until oxtails are easily pulled from the bones.
In a small saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in the polenta evenly. Bring this to medium-low heat and let the polenta cook for about an hour. Constantly whisk and stir the pot to avoid any burning and scorching on the bottom. Once the polenta is soft, add cream and butter until incorporated and melted.
Spoon polenta onto a plate and serve some oxtails with a bit of the broth over the polenta. Finish with a splash of good olive oil and a bit more black pepper.