Balbacua

One of the best oxtail recipes I have tried is Balbacua, a native Filipino dish.

Ingredients

  • 1.3kg / 3 lbs. of oxtail cut into 3 inch segments with skin on
  • 500g / 1 lb. of beef brisket cut into serving sizes
  • ½ cup of shelled, raw peanuts. Peeled and roughly ground or chopped
  • 1 medium-sized ginger root, peeled and lightly pounded to help release its flavor
  • 1 can of salted black beans washed and drained
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  • 1 can tomato Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Method

  1. Boil the oxtail in salt and water for at least twenty minutes, removing the scum as it rises. You can also use ox skin for as long as you can get your hands on properly butchered and cleaned ox skin. You can also eliminate the brisket and use ox skin or more oxtail instead.
  2. After the first boil, drain and wash the meat. Boil it again with enough water to cover the oxtails but without the salt. Add the ginger as well as the turmeric during the second boil. Let the oxtail boil for 3-4 hours until tender, adding more water when needed. As soon as the skin on the oxtail becomes tender, add the brisket pieces and raw peanuts. Let it boil for a few more hours until the brisket is soft and tender.
  3. When it’s ready, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for thirty minutes. To flavour the dish, you can add salt, and black pepper and soy sauce. Locals also use canned pineapple, as well as annatto oil to balance the dish.

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