- Brienne Boortz
- Oxtail Halupkies
1 Maui onion or small sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. black pepper, freshly ground
3 lbs. oxtail
2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
2 c. red wine
1 c. wild rice, cooked and cooled
2 lbs. heirloom tomatoes, or canned San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 head green cabbage
Scallion oil and fresh thyme and parsley, optional
Finely slice half the onion and place in a deep oven-proof roasting pan or slow cooker.
Mix minced garlic with salt and pepper, then toss oxtail in mixture to coat evenly. In a well-oiled pan, brown the oxtails over high heat. If necessary, cook in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Then set in the roasting pan or slow cooker on top of the onion.
Deglaze the pan you browned the oxtails in with red wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan and pour mixture over oxtails. Add water to cover the meat. Cover pan (if using) with lid or aluminum foil and cook in oven preheated to 225 degrees, or set slow cooker on low. Cook 6 to 8 hours, or until oxtail easily falls off the bone. Shred meat using forks, reserving the braising liquid. Mix oxtail with cooked rice, then mince the remaining half of the sweet onion and add to the meat/rice mixture.
Combine braising liquid with tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper, then cook over medium heat until tomatoes are tender and liquid has reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Core cabbage, then boil in heavily salted water — about 1 cup salt per gallon of water — until leaves are tender and easily come apart but remain intact, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the blanching liquid.
To assemble, place roughly 1/4 cup of the oxtail/rice mixture at the base of a large cabbage leaf. Fold sides over the filling then roll tightly, like a burrito. Repeat until all of the oxtail/rice mixture has been used — you should get about 18 total. Stack halupkies in a deep roasting pan or slow cooker. Cover with tomato sauce and blanching liquid. Cook for 2 to 3 hours in a 225-degree oven, or on low in slow cooker. Serve halupkies with sauce. Garnish with scallion oil or fresh thyme and parsley.
Halupkies are Polish in origin and were a popular dish that my mother made during my childhood. I didn't appreciate them as much then as I do now, but they bring back fond memories of my childhood as well as my mother, along with filling the house with warmth and a fragrant aroma. This is a perfect dish for an autumn or winter day. The substitution of oxtail for more traditional beef or pork adds additional depth and richness to the dish that you will not regret making. Enjoy!
— Submitted by chef/owner Mark Henry