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Patricia Yeo
rising stars
November 2002 NEW YORK
Coriander-Crusted Tuna with
Ginger-Orange Braised Oxtail

Patricia Yeo, AZ-New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs


This dish is a huge favorite at AZ, though the idea of fish and meat together may seem strange to you at first. Cooking mild, delicate fish with a little bit of intense, spiced meat is traditional in Asian kitchens, but rather unusual in Western ones-except for favorites like jambalaya and paella. Fresh tuna is an excellent candidate for this treatment; the dazzling flavor and texture of the oxtail "salad" acts as a spark for the simple fish, and the tuna's crunchy coriander-seed crust rounds out the contrasts. Serve this with a juicy, peppery arugula salad.

Sommelier Warner Strejan's Suggested Wine Pairing:
Havens Wine Cellars, Albarino, Carneros, CA

Yield:
4-6 servings

Oxtails:

  • 5 pounds oxtails, trimmed of excess fat
  • cup fermented Chinese black beans (Available in Asian markets. Soak the beans in water for hour and then rinse them in cool water before using.)
  • freshly grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • cup canola oil
  • 1 cup each diced onions, carrots, and celery
  • 1 cup each red wine, rice wine, and plum wine (available in Asian markets), or use 3 cups red wine
  • 2 cups lightly salted chicken stock

Tuna:

  • cup coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • cup minced fresh ginger
  • 1 to 2 pounds fresh tuna, cut into 2-inch by 2-inch logs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • fresh cilantro sprigs and finely shredded scallions, for garnish

Up to 3 days before serving, cook the oxtails: Place the oxtails in a large ceramic or glass bowl or a sealable thick plastic bag. Combine the black beans, zest, garlic, and oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Rub the puree into the oxtails, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot until very hot. Working in 2 batches to avoid crowding the pot, brown the oxtails on all sides. As they are browned, transfer the oxtails to a deep roasting pan. When all the oxtails are browned, add the onions, carrots and celery to the empty pot (don't clean it out) and cook, stirring, until browned and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wines and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Boil for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300F. Pour the wine mixture and the stock over the oxtails in the roasting pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 3 hours or longer, until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones.

Lift the oxtails out of the liquid and set aside to cool. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the braising liquid and discard them. On top of the stove, simmer the braising liquid in the roasting pan until it is reduced by half. When the oxtails are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred it finely. Return the meat to the liquid in the pan or place it in a clean saucepan and pour the liquid over. (The recipe can be made up to this point and kept refrigerated up to 4 days in advance.) When ready to serve, gently reheat over medium-low heat.

Tuna: Combine the coriander and ginger on a plate. Season the tuna logs all over with salt and pepper, then roll in the coriander mixture. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sear the tuna quickly on all 4 sides, until browned on the outside but still red in the center. Slice the logs -inch thick and divide on serving plates. Use a slotted spoon to place a mound of oxtail on each plate. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and shreds of scallion and serve.

 
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