Braised Oxtails with White Beans, Tomatoes, and Aleppo Pepper
Why This Recipe Works
A popular Turkish dish, etli kuru fasulye, which means “white beans with meat,” is often served with rice pilaf and pickled vegetables. It is the starting point for this hearty braise, only in this case the meat—succulent, beefy oxtails—plays the starring role, and the white beans offer a creamy, nutty counterpoint. To be sure our braise did not turn out too greasy, we started by roasting the oxtails in the oven for an hour, rather than quickly browning them in a pan; this way we rendered and discarded a significant amount of fat (about a half-cup). We then transferred the oxtails to a Dutch oven and deglazed the roasting pan with chicken broth to create a flavorful liquid for braising. We added a simple yet flavorful trio of eastern Mediterranean elements to give the braising liquid its character: sweet whole tomatoes, warm and earthy Aleppo pepper, and pungent oregano. After braising, we were careful to remove the fat (about another half-cup) from the cooking liquid using a fat separator. We added canned navy beans, sherry vinegar, and fresh oregano to create a hearty sauce in which we reheated the oxtails.