Reading a 1972 Ann Seranne book. She consistently directs the cook to soak oxtail, chicken, etc. for 30 minutes to an hour before braising or fricasseeing it. In plain water -- not buttermilk, not brine, not a marinade. What is this about?
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Weren't the seventies fun? I believe this is called the Bader-Meinhoff technique where you draw out the blood for no particular reason.
Well, that's interesting. Do you speak from experience, pierino, or from well-informed opinion?
Nora, experience mostly. I did survive the seventies, just barely, by reading Mark Twain. But of course, as a cook do have opinions as well.
Although I don't agree with doing this the technique was done so that when finished braising the result was a clear finished braising liquid. If raw meat is added to a stock the blood clouds it. If you want a clear stock you must roast bones or meats to keep the blood from clouding the liquid. Further more to obtain perfectly clear stock you finish it by using egg whites and finely chopped mirepoix and when the egg whites solidify they trap unwanted particles like a filter. But, back to the soaking in water, you can also achieve the same end result by roasting in dry heat before braising.
And the egg white technique would be called a "raft". But kind of a waste of eggs in a way. So much for the seventies...
Yah but they were good times Mr. P Eh?
Being a sincere fan of oxtails, I would advise against soaking in water as it might dilute the full flavor of the meat. Additionally, for the life of me I cannot figure out why anyone would care if the braising liquid was clear (except perhaps for chicken broth.) Much like preparing a pot roast, try searing the meat before roasting to help the meat retain its juices.
Damn, I love oxtail. Especially the traditional Roman Coda alla Vaccinara with tons of celery.