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[personal profile] xiphias
Dinner tonight was started yesterday. I'd intended to cook up some beans flavored with oxtail, but it got out of hand...

Take some oxtail and start it browning in a Dutch oven. Chop up a couple onions and some garlic, and get those frying in there, too. Do some deglazing with just a bit of red wine, and add a pound of dried pinto beans. Fill it with water, add some salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano, and let it simmer for a while. Remember that you got those really tasty beef frankfurters in lamb casings from the dairy, and they were DELICIOUS, but rather tough to eat as hot dogs -- I think the people putting these things together are still kind of learning as they go, and they're getting really good at flavor, but still working on texture. Chop the rest of them up and put them in the beans.

After many more hours, you have something in between franks and beans and a cassoulet. There are arguments that, if you squint and go technical enough, franks and beans kind of IS a cassoulet, anyway.

Stir everything up, and start picking out the tailbones, and serve.

It's pretty darned good. Lis asked what the shreddy meat in there along with the sausage and beans was, and I explained that that was the oxtail meat; she hadn't realized that you can eat the actual meat, since she was just familiar with oxtail broth, but the meat had actually finally cooked down to shreddy deliciousness, so we ate it, too.

On another topic entirely, though, you may be aware that I buy random interesting-looking booze sometimes. And I was at Total Wine a few months ago, and I decided to see what mezcals they had. I like my mezcals the way I like my scotch -- the smokier the better -- so I looked at the half-dozen they had, and looked for the one that they described as smokiest, and I got that one. It wasn't the cheapest, nor the most expensive, which, in my experience, is where you're most likely to find a hidden treasure.

Or, as in this case, a fascinating failure.

I have been taking the occasional taste of this bottle ever since, each time thinking, "No. I couldn't have remembered that correctly. It really wasn't exactly like THAT, was it?"

The first time I tasted it, I thought, "Wow. Now I know what a gas station tastes like." Then I took a second sip, and thought, "No, this isn't a gas station -- what IS it?" I took a third sip, and thought, "It's a workshop of some sort." A fourth, and I thought, "This mezcal tastes exactly like a junior high school metal shop smells."

I'm happy to give tastes to anybody who is nearby to see if you have a different opinion. But, to me, it is SO specific, and SO clear, that I can hardly even call it "bad". I mean, yeah, objectively, I'm sure that "tastes like a junior high school metal shop" isn't a good thing in a mezcal, but I can't help but be impressed by it nonetheless.

September 2017

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