Sunday, January 4, 2009

Oxtail and Kidney (bean) torelloni

Before he supped down a chalice of hemlock, Socrates hoisted his hand in the air, pointed his finger to the roof, and said to the followers that surrounded him in his death chamber, "the soul is immortal." Before I served six plates of oxtail and kidney bean tortelloni to my New Year's Eve guests, I strapped my guitar around my neck and sang a sloppy version of the song, "Act Naturally." The two situations are quite different: Socrates had been condemned to death for corrupting the minds of the youth, but I had only been condemned to a minor cold for flying on an airplane. I could continue this comparison, but the new year forbids extended goofiness. Instead, a brief run-down of the dish will suffice.

Actually, I can't remember what I did. The broth was half, dark oxtail stock (oxtail, mire poix, tomato, red wine, bay leaf) and half puree of tomato. I plunked a bouquet garni (sprigs of thyme tied up inside a cylinder of celery ribs) in the broth and reduced it for an hour.

The filling was part mashed kidney beans and part meat picked from the oxtail pieces. I added a bunch of stuff to the mixture, including more red wine, and cooked off all the moisture until I achieved the desired consistency.

That's about it. As you can see, I served the tortelloni with a parmesan crostini and some whole kidney beans. Due in part to my post-midnight, champagne toast state, I was a little clumsy when I plated the dishes. The soul may be immortal, but the drunk hand tends to splash the broth around. Ciao

No comments: