Hallucinate: a plated dish

I was actually coming up with this dish when I was doing a quarantine Google Hangout cook-together with my friends, Ann and Sylvie. We agreed that we would each make a pasta dish, so I came up with this one. I took the inspiration from my childhood favorite, beef noodle soup aka Taiwan’s national dish, and transforming it into a French/Italian dish, taking influences from pot au feu. Pot au feu is a stew of cartilaginous meats and root vegetables, braised together. From that, I decided on featuring oxtail as my choice of protein, and using a variety of colorful vegetables or “off cuts” from vegetables as a colorful braised vegetable confetti. I wanted to stew the oxtail until it fell off the phone, and using the scraps from the vegetables(peels and anything that couldn’t cut into a perfect little dice) and an egg white to form a raft, clarify the braising liquid into a proper consommé that is clear as day and perfect to present with. For the pasta, being a huge focal point of the dish, I went with sopressini. I love this shape, because it’s essentially an unfilled tortellini. They’re super beautiful, and give the plate a lot of flow and movement. I also chose to garnish with edible clovers, because they add a nice tartness and acidity to the dish. I named it “Hallucinate” after both the Dua Lipa song and the fact that the dish resembles a tortellini soup, but with the “filling”(braised oxtail) plated outside of it, giving the dish a trippy sort of look.

For the stock:
1 pound of oxtail
a pinch of salt
oil
water
1 egg white
1/4 cups vegetable peels and scraps
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 bay leaf

Season the oxtail with salt. Sear in hot oil on both sides. Sweat out the celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf, and garlic until the onion and celery are translucent. Place back in the oxtail and pour in water. Simmer for 2 hours. Shock oxtail in cold water and remove the meat, reserving the meat – cover with some of the stock. Whisk the egg white until froth and place in the peels and scraps. Place that mixture into the braising liquid and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour through a chinois with a cheese cloth. Squeeze and remove impurities from the broth.

For the vegetable confetti:
3 tablespoons finely diced cabbage stem
3 tablespoons finely diced purple cauliflower stem
3 tablespoons finely diced carrot
3 tablespoons finely diced turnip
salt

Heavily salt your water and bring to a boil. Blanch your vegetables in the water for 30 seconds, then shock in cold water.

For the pasta:
1 cup all-purpose flour + more for rolling
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil
a pinch of salt

Combine ingredients to form a dough. Allow to sit for 1 hour. Roll out to the 3rd thinnest setting on your pasta roller. Cut out 2 inch by 2 inch squares. Fold the points across from each other together to form a triangle. Take the two unpressed together points and bring them together as well to form the sopressini shape. Blanch in boiling salt water for 1 minute.

To plate:
edible clovers

Start with some of the blanched vegetables in the center. Garnish the sides with the braised oxtail, top with the sopressini, and edible clovers.

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