Ad Hoc’s Braised Ox Tails with Mushrooms

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Thomas Keller is amazing because he can do simple and make it phenomenal. This dish is unctuous – and worth every calorie. This dish takes all day, with most of the work being hands off. I did not alter this recipe one bit – this is best every greasy, meaty calorie. I usually serve it with a simple salad topped with white truffle salad dressing.

Ingredients:
4 lbs Ox tails
5 qt beef broth
3 cups oyster mushrooms, trimmed
1/4 c shallot
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
2 TBSP of butter
Salt & pepper
1 chibatta loaf, sliced in half lengthwise
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

Salt and pepper the Ox tails. In a large oven proof pan with a lid, heat 1 TBSP of canola oil over medium high heat. Add Ox tails and brown on all sides. Add beef broth, cover and put in the oven for 3 – 4 hours until falling off the bones.

Remove from oven, flip over Ox tails and let rest for an hour with the lid on. Remove the lid and let rest for another 30 minutes to an hour until cool enough to handle. Move all the Ox tails to one side of the pot and start to remove the meat. Toss the bones and connective tissue. Work you way thought the Ox tails. I usually take a second pass to make sure I’ve removed all the bits and pieces I don’t want to eat. Cover and hear over low heat.

In a large pan heat a tsp of oil over medium heat and add 1/4 – 1/2 the mushrooms – DO NOT crowd them. Cook for 10 minutes on once side until brown, flip and cook the other side, remove and repeat. Add the mushrooms back to the pan with the shallots and thyme and butter, cook until nicely glazed.

Add mushrooms to the meat, stir to combine and cook for a few minutes.

Heat the oven to broil. Generously brush the bread with olive oil. Broil for 2 – 5 minutes until nicely toasted.

Slice, top with meat and mushroom mixture. Enjoy!

Serves 6 – 8.

Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding

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Dulce de leche, come on you know your drooling! Look for it in the ethnic section of you super market, I usually buy a couple of cans since my treks to Safeway are limited. This recipe comes from food and wine magaine, with a few changes from yours truly. If you are not watching your wasteline feel free to use whole milk. This is an amazing treat that will warm you right up on a cold winter night. It would also be great for breakfast.

Ingredients:
Crème anglaise
2 TBSP flour
1 3/4 c 1% milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 large eggs
1/4 c sugar
1 TBSP sugar

Wisk flour & 1/2 c milk in a medium pan until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk, vanilla and pods. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce to low and cook for about 1 minute until thickened

Whisk eggs and sugar together, add a little milk to temper the eggs. Add eggs to milk mixture.

Cook overflow heat, stirring constantly until thick, about 5 minutes.

Bread Pudding
1/2 c dulce de leche, plus more for serving
2 TBSP butter, melted
4 large egg whites,
1 load challah, cut into 1-inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 425° and butter a 2-quart shallow baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir the crème anglaise with the 1/2 cup of dulce de leche and the butter. Whisk in the egg whites. Add the challah, stirring and gently mashing until the cubes are nearly soaked, 5 minutes. Transfer the bread mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake for about 12 minutes, until firm and bubbling around the edges.

Heat the broiler. Broil the pudding for 1 to 2 minutes, shifting the dish a few times, until browned all over. Cut the bread pudding into squares, drizzle with dulce de leche and serve.

Serves 10 – 12.