My daughter says this dish is rather unusual for Easter Sunday lunch. I told her growing up in the Philippines, my family (excluding my atheist dad) celebrated Easter by going to church, and that's about it. My older sister and I used to join the 2 separate dawn processions to re-enact the meeting of the risen Christ and Mary (His mother, not the other Mary); this is called Salubong (meet and greet). The processions, one led by the statue of the risen Christ and the second by Mary, start out from church going in different directions, they meet on the main street, then back to church for mass, with Christ and Mary together side by side at the front of the now joined procession. Holy Week and Easter when we were children were exclusively about Christ, I'm not sure if this is still being practiced in my hometown of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, though. In several places in the Philippines, Lenten season is a serious religious event, check out Sidney's Salubong photos.
Now, back to food, we had ordinary everyday food on Easter Sundays. We also never had Easter egg hunts nor we associated the Resurrection with the carrot-muncher lagomorphs, not even as a dinner fare. Hmm, maybe next year I'll make Conejo en Salmorejo, a Spanish spicy stew with sauce made of hot chili, wine, vinegar, garlic, and paprika. Sounds delicious! ^__^
Spanish Oxtail Stew
4 pounds oxtail, jointed
flour for dredging
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
beef stock or water
- Wash oxtail, pat dry with paper towels. Season the flour with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Dredge the oxtail pieces, shaking to remove excess.
- In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown oxtail on all sides. Lift out and transfer into a Dutch oven or deep casserole.
- Discard the fat in the skillet and wipe with paper towel. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and saute the onions until soft, add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Add to the casserole with half of the carrots, celery, bay leaf, and thyme. Pour in the wine and enough stock or water to barely cover the oxtail. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours or until oxtail is tender. Add the rest of the carrots and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Lift the meat out onto a warmed platter, cover with foil, and leave in a warm oven.
- Skim as much fat as possible, taste and adjust sesoning. If the sauce is too thin, reduce by boiling uncovered until of desired thickness. Return meat to the casserole, remove bay leaf and thyme, and serve with fingerling potatoes and green beans.
Happy Easter peeps!