I wouldn’t describe myself as a gourmand but I know my way around a kitchen and enjoy cooking. I’m a gastrosexual like most British blokes around my age. Cookbooks are our Razzle, Nigel Slater our Linda Lusardi.
I’m always giving recipes to friends and colleagues, so I thought I might as well add some here. And it’ll be an outlet for my food porn pictures.
Torero’s Pie (Rabo de toro/Oxtail shepherd’s pie)
Neither British nor Spanish food has much of a reputation outside their own borders, so I thought as a British-ish man-cook who has lived in Spain for the last decade, I should marry two average cuisines and create something great. So here is my first attempt at Anglo-hispanic fusion food.
First you need to dust the bits of oxtail in flour and brown them in hot oil. Then remove them from the pot.
Chop onions, green & red pepper, a leek, some carrots, a wee stick of celery and soften in the pot, add salt and pepper and a couple of bay leaves
Pour in about half a bottle of red wine and a mug of beef or veg stock. Over a high heat, reduce the liquid by about a thrid, then cover and turn the heat right down to the lowest it can go.
Now take the bits of tail out of the pot.
The next stage is up to you if you want to do it or not. Personally, I find it much tastier…but up to you. Take out the bay leaves and using a hand blender blitz the sauce.
Now pick the meat off the tail bones…it should falling off the bone by now. Shred it into bits using your hand or two forks. Make sure there’s no lumps of fat in there (unless you like lumps of fat). Put the shredded meat back into the sauce. If the sauce isn’t as thick as you’d like, turn up the heat until it is. You can keep the oxtail bones for stock if that’s how you roll.
Make mashed potatoes in the time-honoured way. When you’re happy with it…add some smoked paprika and a spoon or two of red pepper paste (it’s called carne de pimiento in spain, I believe in the UK you can get Chargrilled Red Pepper Paste in Sainsbury’s). Mix these into the mash.
Pour the meat sauce into a baking dish so the sauce is no more than half way up. or a bit more than halfway actually.
Start to cover the meat sauce with the mash. Easiest way is, using a spoon start at a corner and scrape the spoonful of mash on top then do another one next to it and work around the dish that way. Then fill in the middle. With a fork, lightly go round all of the topping making lines in it so that it looks like a ploud field and the mash is spread equally enough.
Brush and egg white over the top. Bung in the oven for 20-30 minutes so that the top is crispy and some sauce has bubbled out and made a mess of your oven. (don’t worry…the wonderful Elena cleaned my oven. I’d have just sold it and bought another one)
Pastel de Torero/Torero’s Pie