Crazy Beef Stew!

One generous pot of Beef Stew: COMPLETE!
The herbs & spices that I used for flavouring this recipe totally surprised me:

heaped teaspoonful of harissa paste, 2 dried bay leaves, generous gob of grainy mustard, a big 2-finger pinch dried thyme, really large sprig-snip from my rosemary topiary, and a big spoonful of marmite. Plus, don’t forget the usual veggie assortment: onions, carrots, celery, LOTS of garlic, frozen peas
This whole “packaging up for future use” thing is also making me crazy giddy ^_^ I don’t imagine we’ll get more than 2 or 3 dinner-for-2 freezer meals out of this one, though.And no, the biscuits are still not done because I love a good crusty baguette, slathered with butter, far too much… in case anyone was wondering ^_^

Very flavourful beef stew

Making Nikujaga — Japanese Meat & Potato Stew

I have been totally braindead this week. The liver biopsy took a heckuva lot out of me more than I had ever anticipated and thusly my cooking has totally gone down the drain.

It’s been rather gorgeous the last few days, but it would seem that the weather is starting to change and it will get cooler over the weekend. As we all know, The Hubbs has some pretty specific notions on what a beef stew should be and I have a pretty intense dislike for potatoes. So why am I making a Japanese beef stew where the two main ingredients are beef & potatoes? I have no idea. Maybe it’s the Moose talking. I’ve taken a LOT of Moose this week and I’ve been completely unprepared for that.

I am rather impressed at how my stew is smelling. It smells… well… kind of like a very Japanese dish! It’s a pretty slap-dash, throw whatever you have on hand recipe that I think most everyone would have in their pantries. There are absolutely no weird ingredients in this dish and it’s a pretty damn quick meal to boot: 20-30 minutes, or however long it normally takes to cook potatoes & carrots until their soft & cooked through and have a pot of rice ready on standby. Rly? Ya. Rly.

So, recipe? Easy.

Nikujaga

Thinly sliced (like shabu shabu thin) meat of your choice — I sliced a semi-frozen beef steak as thinly as possible

1 onion, sliced into thin wedges

3 carrots, cut into rolling wedges

1/3 bag of baby potatoes, peeled and halved if large

veggie oil

1 1/2 – 2 cups dashi

mirin, generous sploshing up to a big ol’ glug or two

5 Tbsp soysauce (I used low sodium to use up what I had left in the pantry)

5 Tbsp brown sugar

In a large mug, mix dashi with soysauce and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and set aside.

In a medium, heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Cook beef slices until mostly cooked, but not entirely.

Add onions, mixing with the beef until the onions look translucent

Add potatoes and onions, stirring well and searing a little longer.

Pour in your mirin and let the liquid cook off for a bit.

Add your dashi, soy & sugar mixture to the pot and stir everything until well combined.

Let the stew come up to a boil, then cover & turn heat down so everything can simmer gently.

Cook until potatoes & carrots are soft all the way through.

Serve with rice… or not… because I’m told that it’s extremely rude & sacrilege ^_^

I made curry!

At least, it’s currently simmering on the stove doing whatever it needs to be doing in hopes of becoming something uber tasty.

I’ve never made a meat curry from scratch before. I’ve made a veggie curry, which was very very yummy, but never meat. A couple days ago I pulled one of the last bison round roasts from the deep freeze to thaw. I had intended on roasting it again like I did last time, but ever since I had my girls night on Friday, I’ve been craving curry.

On the whole, it seems to be that curry’s actually a relatively easy thing to make, it’s just that it has a lot of little ingredients to deal with which makes it seem like it’s a whole long and complicated procedure. The recipe for my Bison Korma is of course originally written for beef. I’ve discovered over the past year that I actually much prefer the taste of bison over the taste of beef. It just has a better meaty taste to it. I thought I had all the ingredients on hand to make the spice paste from whole spices, but it turned out that I was mistaken and so decided to just make the paste from ground instead. I didn’t make any adjustments to the quantities of spices to take into account the ‘dry vs. whole’ because… well, I’m tired and I’m lazy and this is truly the easiest way to go about things without needing to think.

So far the curry smells pretty fantastic — I sampled a piece of bison just to see how the tastes melded and it’s really good! I mean, it obviously could use a longer simmering time for the flavours to mingle properly, which it’s doing until The Hubbs comes home, but I am pretty pleased with its outcome so far.

The original recipe calls for 2kg of beef, my roast was only just over 1kilo, but I didn’t bother with adjusting for quantities because everyone loves extra curry sauce for dunking naan into. What I am planning on doing though is freezing a good portion of the curry because we certainly can’t eat it all. Before I actually finish off cooking the curry for dindin tonight, I’m going to portion out my quantity for later and chuck it into the freezer but I am not going to add in the cream or yoghurt before-hand because dairy will split when frozen and no one wants that. When I reheat the curry at a later date, I will stir in fresh cream and yoghurt right before serving.

Bison Korma

1 kg Bison, cubed
3 onions, thinly sliced
Oil

1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup water
¼ cup almonds, blanched and slivered
8 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp Garam Masala
Salt (to taste)

¼ cup Whipping Cream
1 cup plain Yogurt
2 tbsp Coriander/ Parsley (snipped)

In a small food processor, combine together coriander, cumin, cardamom , red chili and cloves.
Add 1/3 cup water, slivered almonds, garlic, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and garam masala.
Blend the mixture to form a paste and set aside.
Heat some oil in a large saucepan and sear meat in batches.
Set aside cooked pieces until all meat is seared.
Add extra oil in the saucepan if needed and add the onions.
Sauté the onions on medium-high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, till they start turning brown.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the spice paste. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes till lightly brown.
Add meat and all their juices, plus ½ cup water to the saucepan and stir well.
Cover the pan and simmer for 1½ to 1¾ hours till meat turns tender, stirring occasionally.
Mix together whipping cream, yogurt.
Add the cream mixture to the meat and stir well.
Cook the mixture till it thickens and turns bubbly, another 1-2 minutes.
Serve with rice and naan.

Bison Pot Roast

The pot roast I made yesterday in the crockpot, while I was out and about with the girls, was kind of tasty but it seems like it was missing something… I don’t think the ginger marmalade was flavourful enough to compete against the beef stock and the flavour of the bison. It went pretty nicely with mashed potatoes, but there is something missing. Perhaps it needs more curry powder? Or perhaps garam masala to up the flavour intensity?

The recipe called for a jar of chutney and I could have sworn I had a bottle in the fridge, but apparently I was wrong so I substituted what remained of a jar of ginger marmalade. I figured it couldn’t be a bad combination since there are recipes for orange beef out there. As much as I am generally not a fan of meat + fruit combinations, the raisins in this recipe didn’t make the pot roast overly sweet, which I liked. The little nubbins of juiciness were actually quite nice.

I will have try the recipe again with a proper jar of chutney (hot? mango? hot mango??) one day but for now, I still have a fair bit of leftovers that I need to contend with.

Spiced Pot Roast

3 pounds boneless beef rump or chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup chutney
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

In a crockpot, combine all ingredients and pour over roast.
Cover and cook until meat is tender.
Thicken gravy if desired.

Wheee… leftovers.

I’ve just made approximately a 5 quart pot of Japanese curry to go with the leftover coconut rice & peas from last week.

Why? Because I just toss stuff into the pan willy-nilly and things just end up this way. I still don’t know how to cook, it would seem and I fail at cooking for only two people at a time.

*sigh*

We’re gonna be eating curry for a loooooong time, here, at Casa del Moose-O.

Japanese Curry

2 potatoes, chopped
1/3 of small bag of baby carrots, kinda chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
leftover braised, boneless beef shortribs
leftover braising juices from shortribs
1 package Japanese curry roux

Pretty basic stuff — at its most basic, I just toss everything into the pot and cover with water and cook until veggies are soft.. For a little more detail: sweat the onions and garlic for a bit until soft, add the potatoes and carrots until… I dunno, until I felt like adding the leftover beef with the beef juices and then top with water. Simmer until the veggies are soft (mainly the potatoes & carrots), then add the curry blocks and let it simmer some more until you’re ready to eat. Serve with lots of rice.


Japanese curry with beef

Amazing NYE Dindin is Amazing

Dinner was absolutely fantastic. I am still amazed. I have pictures, but am currently Moosed up and too lazy to upload them right now, so it will probably be done sometime tomorrow.

The roast bison was perfectly cooked to medium-rare, with the ends being more of a medium-well(?), which was perfect for Mom’s liking. The method I used for roasting the bison I knew would work, but I am incredibly impressed at how perfect the method truly is. The first time I encountered this method of roasting a prime rib of beast, I discovered through a Foodwishes.com youtube video, which Chef John calls “Method X”. The most important thing to know about “Method X” is that the meat must be at room temperature before throwing it into the oven. It could take up to 6 hours to come to room temperature before roasting and to be honest, I totally believe it… but then I think our fridge might be abnormally cold, even for a fridge. Basically what you do is preheat your oven to a screaming hot 500F to sear the outside of the meat, for a specific amount of time [which is determined by taking the weight of your roast x 5 minutes], then you turn off the oven and leave it alone for 2 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING THE TWO HOURS. Don’t think about the oven. Don’t even look at the oven. For my bison, the times are slightly different, but the method is essentially the same. For a 3 lb roast, it sears at 480F for 30 minutes then it sits for 30-45 minutes with the heat turned off. I chose 45 minutes because even though I took out the roast to warm up to room temperature for 2 hours prior, assuming it was an adequate amount of time, it was still chilled to the touch. After I pulled the bison out of the oven, I let it rest under foil for a good 20, probably closer 30 minutes, while I made the gravy before carving.

The gravy… OH MY GOD the gravy! Port & stilton gravy is now officially my absolute go-to gravy recipe when it comes to making a prime rib roast of either the beef or bison pursuasion. Even Mom enjoyed it and that’s saying something, considering she doesn’t like blue cheese. I was saying to Dad when we finished dinner that if I could, I would drink it with a straw. We had so much leftover that I probably could have, too. If I had been smart, the quantity of gravy could have probably been halved and we would still have had more than enough to serve.

What remains won’t be a complete waste, I packed up the leftovers so we can have it tomorrow with pork chops, along with the rather ridiculous quantity of veggies we’ve got remaining as well. Mom absolutely loved the maple roasted carrots & parsnips and surprisingly, Dad did too! Though he definitely preferred the ‘nips over the carrots, naturally. The green beans went over quite well, but next time I should remember to add onions. It definitely could have benefitted from them. Somehow I completely forgot about putting any in, which is odd because when I make veggies I almost always add garlic and onions.

The mashed potatoes were also really yummy — I used lots of butter, a generous splosh milk, some chopped green onions, about 1/2 cup of tzatziki that uses ridiculously thick-thick-thick(!) greek yoghurt, and seasoned with some kosher salt and a generous grinding of pepper. As far as mashed potatoes are concerned, they were pretty impressive. I’m not usually a mashed potato person, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed them. I even had seconds. That’s totally unheard of for me.

For dessert, we had a store-bought tiramisu. I am usually pretty unexcited about in-house, store-bought/branded desserts because they tend to be very bad imitations of the real thing. This one was pretty good, albeit slightly frozen still. The instructions on the label said to let thaw overnight in the fridge. Oups. Not a horrible loss though. With a cup of hot coffee, it was still quite nice.

The only minor disappointment of the evening, for me, is that I had a lot of pain around 4pm and I was still in pain by the time we finished dindin at 730pm. So I had to take the Moose. Unfortunately there’s no ringing in the New Year with Hello Kitty Bubbly Wine for me tonight. I had planned on using the leftovers to make Nigella’s Champagne Risotto for Two sometime this weekend. Thinking about it now, I don’t know that it would have necessarily been the wisest of choices — the wine is pink. I have no idea how it would affect the flavour, but I suppose it couldn’t be horrible, could it…?

This is the first time I’ve ever made dinner for Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve and all in all, I am incredibly proud of my accomplishments this year. Perhaps I can try to do it again next year. If not, at least I have two menus which I know I am capable of making and are fantastic.

Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year ^_^

Beef Stew

Some things just smell awesome, homemade beef stew being one of them, especially when fall starts doing its thang.

We spent an enjoyable evening on Thursday night with some friends watching old cartoons — The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings in celebration of the Bilbo & Frodo Baggins’ birthdays.

For eats, our hosts made beef stew (bison? I didn’t actually ask) and served it with bread, plus the little junky bits that everyone brought over to watch movies with. Cuz yanno, you need junk food with movies — pretzel sticks, sun chips & my oatmeal bars.

Anyhow, on the way home later that night, The Hubbs & I were talking about beef stew and he described what I can only classify as being his “pedestal beef stew”. Meaning, he has this ideal of how beef stew should be in his head: the potato pieces have to be “just this size” and really soft, there have to be peas that are nice and mushy, along with carrots and celery and beef, as well the viscosity of the gravy has to be just right with proper amount of seasonings… it’s a lot to live up to!

So I tried to work with all that he gave me in his mind and came out with a pretty darn tasty beef stew with The Hubbs’ seal of approval.

There are no real measurements in this case, I just tried to get what I thought to be a proper proportion of veggies to meat going on. The weirdest thing that happened when I was making the stew (because I had it in my head to try something different) — I lost a lot of my braising liquid during the first two & a half hours when I popped the stew pot into the oven at 325F, thinking I could just “set it and forget it” like I would a crockpot. Thankfully I had the sense to check on the stew once before going down for a nap and topping up the pot again with liquids. After that minor disaster, I decided to just leave the pot on the stove to simmer like a normal person would.

A note on De-Alcoholized Red Wine: Yes, I bought a bottle de-alcoholized Merlot specifically for beef stew. I wanted the wine flavour without the harsh after-affects of alcohol. I’m not entirely sure that it was necessarily the right choice, but it did make for a nice and flavourful stew-gravy. I didn’t actually taste the wine on its own until Mom & Dad came over for dindin, but I did have a sip of the glass I gave to Dad. It surprised me. It tasted like… grape drink, but not as sweet. ~I~ can still feel the alcohol at the back of my head when I drink it, but the logic behind using it for cooking was that because it’s only 0.5% alcohol, perhaps whatever it contained, would burn off. We shall find out for sure in the morning. If I am correct (because not all the alcohol burns off when you cook if you’re using wine or beer or spirits, contrary to popular belief), I may have found my alternative. Though to counteract the sweetness of the wine, in the future, I will have to remember to add a smidge of acid to whatever I’m cooking it with.

Awesome Beef Stew

1lb boneless beef short ribs, excess fat removed (but do leave some on for flavour, please!)
1″ slice of pancetta, cut into cubes
olive oil
6 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 parsnips, peeled &chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1lb baby potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
water
2 bay leaves, a few springs fresh thyme & one sprig rosemary
salt & pepper
2 cups frozen peas

Cut beef short ribs into nice big cubes, season generously with salt & pepper and set aside
In a large, heavy pot, warm olive oil over medium high heat with the cubes of pancetta and render out fat.
Drain pancetta cubes and set aside in a large bowl.
Using the residual fat in the pan, brown beef cubes in batches and add to bowl of pancetta as they’re done.
Once all beef has browned, add onions & celery to pan and cook until translucent.
Add carrots & parsnips to pot and cook a few minutes more. Season with salt & pepper.
Deglaze pan with red wine, scraping up tasty bits on the bottom. Be careful of the steam!
Add the beef broth, beef cubes, pancetta & potatoes and stir well.
Add enough water to pot to submerge beef and potatoes.
Add the bayleaf, thyme and rosemary, making sure to submerge them in the liquid.
Bring stew to a boil, then cover & turn heat down to a simmer.
Cook stew for 5-6 hours, stirring occassionally and add more water if liquid levels are too low.
During last hour of cooking, add frozen peas and taste for seasoning, adding more salt & pepper as needed.

Hamburger Stroganoff

When The Hubbs & I make homemade hamburgers, we always end up with at least 2 leftover burgers which tend to sit around the fridge uneaten unless someone absolutely has to. This is the recipe I’ve always had in my head but never quite knew how to make in reality. I don’t know how I finally figured it out, but I think it probably involved lying awake one night because of The Moose. It is incredibly yum.

When The Hubbs makes hamburgers (I do the grilling around here, now, it would seem): mix a 1lb package of ground beef with 1 egg and 1 package of roast onion soup mix, shape it into 4-5 patties. When I grill the burgers, I salt & pepper the one side that is going immediately face down on the hot grill and then do the same thing for the other side when it’s getting flipped over. And yes, we cook our burgers well done. Even though I am a huge fan of the medium rare steak, I can’t really stomach the idea of eating a medium rare burger, that just seems wrong.

It’s not authentic, but the stroganoff was super yum. There is no other way of describing it. I’m ridiculously pleased at how fantastic it tasted and amazed that we both ate as much as we did given how small our meal sizes tend to be. The recipe’s simple and basically used everything I had leftover in the fridge with the exception of having to buy some sour cream last week. Now I am very excited to have leftover hamburgers just so I can make stroganoff. The amounts I’ve given below used only one patty and was more than enough meat for our liking. This was enough for The Hubbs and I to each have a decent portion for dindin and then 2 portions remaining for him to have for lunch during the week. Given that our hamburgers are about ~1/4lb each, I would say that using two leftover burgers would probably make for an overly meaty stroganoff, if there’s such thing, but do what you would like best.

Hamburger Stroganoff

1/2 pack of egg noodles
1/4 cup butter
1 leftover hamburger (nuked for ~30 seconds just to take the excess fridge cold, off)
1 heaped spoonful flour
1 1/2-2 cups beef broth (1 spoonful of beef bouillon dissolved in hot water)
1/2 cup sour cream (or more, to taste)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
garlic salt & pepper, to taste

Put a pot of water on to boil and cook egg noodles until desired doneness.
Meanwhile, put a skillet over medium heat and melt butter.
Once the butter starts to melt, add the hamburger and break it up with a potato masher until it’s completely uniform.
Add the heaped spoonful of flour to the meat mixture and cook until the flour is well incorporated.
Add a generous amount of smoked paprika & pepper to the meat and stir well to combine.
Pour in the beef broth and stir until thickened, adding a little extra water if it needs it.
Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream until completely mixed through. Stir in peas.
Taste sauce and season with garlic salt and extra paprika, if needed (I probably used somewhere around 1Tbsp total).
Serve over egg noodles.

Fire! RAWR!

I am woman, hear me roar!

*RAWR!!*

I BBQ’d a steak for the first time in my life last night ^_^

Ya. Srsly.

~I~ grilled me a 1″ thick prime rib steak on the bone, yes sirree.

I really should’ve taken pics, it was food p0rn-worthy. Mom had bought 4(!) HUEG LIEK XBAWX prime rib steaks, on the bone, that were on sale on Tuesday for $20. These things were behemoth caveman-sized steaks, I tell you!

As I mentioned yesterday, what I did was: in a baggie, cuz that’s what my steak was residing in, I poured in a couple glugs of olive oil, a couple of generous pinches of kosher salt, obscene amount of freshly ground pepper, strips of zest from one lemon, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme. Knotted the bag back up, massaged everything around a bit to evenly distribute things and then threw it all back into the fridge.

About an hour and a half before we were ready to make dindin, I pulled the steak out of the fridge and plopped the baggie into a container on the counter to come up to room temperature.

While the meat was coming up to temperature, The Hubbs and I set out to the Hillhurst Farmer’s Market to visit some friends from Urban Sunflower Market Gardens. This is J & Miss R‘s first year at the market and only their 3rd week presenting. By the time we’d arrived, they had already sold out of a few things, but lucky for me, they still had radishes! I lurvs me some radishes these last couple of years. The cool thing about these radishes is that they’re not your normal pink ones. Oh noes, they are not! They’re Easter Egg radishes! Multi-coloured for your eating enjoyment.

Radishes in hand, we roamed around the rest of the Farmer’s Market to see what was on offer. From one stand, I finally found some REAL garlic! This stuff ~smells~ like garlic! I am so incredibly thrilled! I’ve been so irked by the fact that every grocery store I go to, the only garlic they sell is from China and the stuff smells like nothing and TASTES like nothing, so I end up using half a bulb just to flavour my recipes. I like garlic as much as the next girl, if not more, but this is rather ridiculous. I want ~real~ tasting garlic! I just hope the fridge doesn’t get too stinky leaving them in the fridge intact as they are.

The Hubbs thought that the garlic were leeks at first because of the greenery still attached to them and I will admit, they do look like leeks, but they’re not. I think I might make a creamy potato-garlic-top soup with the greens. But being that it’s the middle summer and the temperatures are starting to soar again, I might have to just chop off the greens and stash them in the freezer for sometime later when it can be enjoyed by not just us, but perhaps my parents, as well… we just can’t finish a whole pot of soup between the two of us :/

Doing our round of the market, we ended back up at our friends’ stall to say hi to J, as he was roaming around visiting with other vendors when we’d arrived. Before departing, Miss R presented us with an awesome bag of their Honey Gingersnaps as thank you for coming to visit them at the Market. It was so sweet and they totally shouldn’t have. I was thoroughly touched… and now I haz gingersnaps to go with my Earl Grey tea stash that I’ve finally replenished ;D

But back to my steak…

Upon arriving home, I had The Hubbs set up the little hibachi, which btw, I am absolutely in love with. I’d forgotten how awesome a workhorse this little guy is. He set up the picnic table from the back of SAM on the deck, set up the hibachi with the little propane tank and set it on high to preheat so we could clean the bugger. Once the grates had been thoroughly scraped clean, we left it alone another 5-10 minutes to come up to temperature again before grabbing the meat to set aflame.

While the hibachi was coming back up to temperature for the second time, I made a quick little tomato salad with extra virgin olive oil, a generous pinch of kosher salt (I’m really liking the kosher salt action now that I’m using a little recycled honeypot as a salt container), pepper, some dried basil and dried parsley and then set it aside until time for eating.

Once my preheat time had expired, I set the temperature to medium, cleaned off my steak of any bits and pieces from the marinade and plopped it on the grates for 5 minutes, rotating the meat 90 degrees halfway through. After 5 minutes, according to my handy-dandy iPod touch (Lame! It was the only timer I had on hand that was portable!), I flipped the steak over and reset the timer for another five minutes and again, after two and a half minutes, rotated it by 90 degrees.

After the ten minutes of cooking, I took the steak off the flame and let it rest on a chopping board. While it was doing its thang, I drizzled some of my really nice extra virgin olive oil overtop along with the squeezings of half a lemon. I wasn’t quite sure how lemony the juice would be on the meat, so I was pretty reserved with my squeezing action.

I have to say, I made the best steak I’ve had in a really, really, REALLY long time. It was a perfect medium rare, nice and juicy and I loved the lemon juice on the steak, the flavour just brightened up the meat. As I was eating, I kept squeezing more lemon onto my half of the steak, The Hubbs was content with how the steak was presented to him and needed no further adornments. I also had a little chunk of blue cheese to go with my meat, but that’s only because I can, not because it really needed any more flavouring — just keeping my eating options open.

It looks like I may be in charge of cooking up the big caveman-sized steaks from now on ^_^ *Rawr!*

Kare-kare!

I don’t have any clue as to how things like this happen, but every now and then I get it in my head to make something I’ve never even tasted before, just because it sounds good.

Today, we’re having my parents over for dindin to partake in my first attempt at the Filipino dish Kare-kare. Stewed oxtail with tripe with lots of veggies — eggplant, green beans & bok choy in a peanut base served with shrimp paste on the side. The recipe that I’m more or less following is found here.

Minor problem: I have NO idea how to serve the shrimp paste. Reading the label on the lid, it says, “To be prepared for consistency and taste — this product is customarily cooked before consumption.”

Currently in the pot: 2lbs(ish?) of trimmed oxtail, 250g of tripe (cut into pieces), 1 chopped onion, big heaped spoonful of minced garlic + 2Tbsp(ish) annatto oil.

I have no clue as to what this is supposed to taste like when finished. My biggest worry is that the oxtail won’t be tender enough come dinner time, but seeing as I started cooking it at 1230pm and my parents aren’t showing up to dindin until about 700/730, it should be a more than adequate amount of time to soften up.

…That and I still don’t quite know what to do with the shrimp paste. It says to cook it before serving, but I don’t know how much to cook!

Oh well.