Here are our Mother’s Day Recipe Winners of our competition celebrating all of our fabulous mothers in 2016. There is a hearty oxtail stew from Tricia and a delicious side dish of polenta squares from Natasha and one more favourite from Dominique, a borlotti bean dish, great as a side or as a main for lunch with crusty bread.
Tricia Quan’s Favourite Recipe from her mum – Irene’s Oxtail stew
- 735g oxtail
- 2 medium brown onions
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 medium carrots
- big sprigs of fresh common garden mint
- cauliflower – (use peas when cauliflower is out of season or any other veges you like such as eggplant, fennel, silverbeet, chard, brussel sprouts, zucchini)
- 140g raw peanuts in the skin
- 2 big pieces *dried mandarin peel – (like half a mandarin skin in one piece)
- Worcestershire sauce
- freshly ground black pepper and sea salt or lake salt flakes
- corn flour
- Soak peanuts and mandarin peel in boiling water for an hour. Drain. Remove skins from peanuts. Put aside. Scrape inside of mandarin skin and remove any pith and hard bits.
- Cut the onions and celery stalks roughly into large chunks, including the celery leaves.
- Trim fat from oxtails.
- Place oxtails in a deep 4 or 5 litre saucepan. Fill with water to barely cover, put on the lid, bring to the boil and then remove the oxtails from the pot and throw out the water.
- Clean and dry the saucepan. Place about one tablespoon of sunflower oil in the pot and heat. Place the onions and celery in the pot and sauté for a little while. Put the oxtail into the pot and fill with enough cold water or stock so that the oxtails are covered with liquid. Add the mint sprigs. Grind some fresh pepper into the pot. Cover and simmer gently for 90 minutes. Add some salt and a good tablespoonful of Worcestershire sauce.
- At the end of the cooking time, put a fork through one of the tail pieces to check that it is tender. Otherwise, keep cooking until tender. Should just flake off the bone.
- Cut the veges roughly in chunks and put the carrots in the last 25 minutes of cooking followed by cauliflower and broccoli at about 10 minutes before end of cooking.
- Season with salt and pepper. Thicken with corn flour.
- Serve with steamed brown or basmati rice or dumplings. At the table, serve with Worcestershire sauce.
*You can make your own dried mandarin skin now as mandarins are coming into season. (The bought stuff from the Asian shops is a lot drier and tougher and needs soaking for much longer.) Peel the skin from a mandarin and remove as much of the white pithy bits and wash well and pat dry. Using a needle and thread, thread some cotton through one end of the piece and hang to dry in the sun until quite dry. Store in an airtight container for up to three years. The older the dried mandarin skin, the stronger its flavour.
Other suggestions: Instead of water, you may also cook the oxtail in stock. Vegemite or stock cubes may also be used to flavour the stew. This stew is also great made with dumplings. Prepare dumplings and place in stew, well covered by liquid for at least 20 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through and fluffy on the inside.
If you use corn-based corn flour and gluten free self raising flour for the dumplings, this recipe would be coeliac friendly, depending on the Worcestershire sauce….
Natasha’s Favourite Recipe from her Mum – Glenys’ Polenta Squares
Simple but tasty… easy to prepare….
- Make polenta as normal.
- Place on a tray or in a loaf tin and chill.
- Once hard, slice into squares or triangles and cook in butter and herbs.
- Place on a tray and put a slice of prusciutto, or similar, or leave it off.
- Add some nice melty, but not an oily cheese, then grill until melted.
- Sprinkle with some fresh chopped parsley. Or eat fresh out of the oven.
This is also amazing with any dish that has a sauce like Occo Bucco.
And Dominique’s Favourite Recipe from her Mum – Robyn’s Fagioli All’uccelletto (braised borlotti beans with tomato and sage)
Serves 4 as a side dish.
- 330 g dried borlotti beans (soaked overnight in water)
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) olive oil
- 100 g speck, skin removed and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 x 800 g tin peeled diced tomato
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Drain the beans and rinse with fresh water then place them in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then fry the speck for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the beans, sage and tomato and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until a film of oil appears on the surface.
Serve warm as a side dish or with crusty bread and fried sage leaves, if desired.
Fagioli All’uccelletto is just one of Dominque’s favourite Sicilian dishes available in her cookbook “My Taste of Sicily”. Now available on-line at Putia Pure Pantry.