Here we are at the butcher. One of many on Ben Thanh Market in District 1. Around 20 to be imprecise, that’s not including those flogging fowl. I’m here to snag an oxtail before ruining a perfectly good recipe back at Pieman towers. I pick my tail from the attractive selection hanging above. Only three or four of the butchers down here sell oxtail. It costs roughly 70,000VD for a kilo and is hacked up on the wooden chopping board you can just see in the snap above.
The reason I’m on an oxtail trip at the moment is because two weeks ago I dropped by the Lion Brewery for a ‘loosener’ when I spotted Oxtail soup on their menu going for 35,000VD a shout. I decided to give it a crack and found myself enjoying it immensely. I’m a big oxtail fan, but have never cooked it. Actually I can’t really cook, but I thought there was a slim chance I might just be able to do something better than the Lion Brewery. Spying tail on the market was the perfect excuse to create some kitchen chaos. On a deadly serious note, I’m hosting a dinner party in a week or so when there’ll be a disturbingly large French contingent in attendance. There’s nothing worse than the sight of an upturned French nose at the dining table. I’m hoping a dry run or two might just raise my game high enough to avoid any unsightly gallic nasal erections.
I won’t get into all the winkery-wankery of what I did with my tail as this isn’t really a cooking blog, but for the record I arsed around with this Basque Oxtail recipe, cooked it for over six hours and got the shock of my life when the thing came out the other side not just edible, but stonkingly scoffworthy. Also, on an intellectual level, I like to think of noodlepie as a pseudo east meets west, noodle meets pie, bangers ‘n’ mash meets bun mam kinda blog. So this is the not so oft seen pie bit in noodlepie, which is also a real pie from Russia by the way. For three other quality oxtail deals try Oslofoodie, hers looks well nice. Gary Rhodes has that back to traditional-Brit scoff thing going on and Delia ‘the grunt’ Smith can braise my oxtail in Guinness with Cannellini beans anytime she likes.