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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday meal

Kare Kare Pata
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
I posted this picture of our holiday meal from my cell phone, and now I am going back to tell you about it.  This is oxtail with Bok Choy, green beans and  chinese eggplants. It is a Filipino dish called Kare Kare Pata (Oxtail stew).  Our friends made us the most fabulous holiday meal, we were able to have the traditional Filipino foods that we only get about once a year.  Lets face it, we can eat turkey and ham anytime of the year, but there is nothing like a friend slaving over a hot stove to make you something special and traditional to their culture.  The other dishes are posted separately, but since this is my husband's favorite, I will start with this one.
Everyone has their own special way of making  Kare Kare, this is a fairly mild version where no particular flavor will stand out, it is balanced well.  Of course, by adding the shrimp paste (bagoong) on the rice, you can change the flavor by degrees. I love Baby Bok Choy, so I would add more to this dish than you might. I would also make the eggplant smaller than this photo, they are easier to cut when raw. They are slippery little suckers to cut once they have been in broth.


3-4 pounds of oxtail
(6-8 cups) water
2 beef bouillon cubes
Baby Bok Choy
1/4 pound long green beans cute into 2 inch sizes, or just cut in  half
1 Japanese eggplant (cut in bite sized pieces)  or a few small chinese eggplant (brinjal)
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp achuete (annatto) powder
1/2 cup peanut butter for thickening (creamy)
Bagoong (shrimp paste) to taste
salt and pepper

How to make it:

1. Boil oxtail for at least 2 hours in the salt and pepper seasoned water. Add the beef bouillon cubes. Skim off fat as it cooks and at the end. Remove the meat from the broth and set aside.

2. Cook the Baby Bok Choy, long beans, and eggplant in the broth until they are just tender. Season with salt and pepper.

3. In a different large pan, saute the onion in the olive oil and add the peanut butter. Add achuete powder for color and add garlic right at the end so it won't impart a bitter or burnt flavor.

4. Pour in half the oxtail broth and cook 5 minutes. Add the oxtail and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the broth and the vegetables. Serve with brown rice and bagoong(shrimp paste).

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