The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for December, 2008

Oxtail Stew

Posted by Exile on December 29, 2008

Anyone who knows me knows that I like my food. I also like the good old hail and hearty recipes of my childhood. So here’s one that is as good as it is simple.

Take one oxtail, separated at all the joints, so you have chunks of meat on bones. Bung ‘em into a big old pan and brown ‘em with a good portion of fat. I use margarine. While the meat is browning, chop a couple of large onions up into small bits. When the meat is browned, take it out of the pan, replace it with the onions and give it more fat if necessary. Let the onions brown to golden and then remove them from the pan and put ‘em with the meat. Throw a good handful of flour into the pan and stir it round until it soaks up all the fat. Throw the meat and onions back into the pan and pour a good portion of beef stock over the whole lot until everything is covered. Stir well and bring to the boil. Then turn down the heat. Grab some carrots, scrape ‘em and cut ‘em into thick slices. Chuck that in with the meat and stuff. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes if you like. It can’t do any harm. Or, give it a big old squirt of tomato puré. Salt and pepper to taste and put a lid on the pan. Let it simmer until the meat is cooked off the bones. (Which ought to take a couple of hours at least. Stir the whole thing once in a while.)

While you are waiting for that to happen, you make a pile of mashed potatoes. And I mean real potatoes people, not that bloody awful powdered stuff that the supermarkets like to sell you. Don’t forget, you have loads of time waiting for the meat to cook, so delay the potato bashing until about a half hour before the meat is ready.

Serve on a big plate and don’t be afraid to suck the meat off the bones. Red wine or dark beer to drink. Bon apetit.

Hell, if that don’t get you through the winter, nothing will.

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A Christmas Tale

Posted by Exile on December 9, 2008

Last Friday, we held the works Christmas party. Everyone was invited. Most of us signed up for it. Actually, it turned out to be one of the best Christmas bashes I have ever been to. We went to one of Denmark’s largest conference halls for the Christmas Gala Show with accompanying dinner and lashings of beer. And a great success it was too. A good time was had by all. As the hall isn’t actually all that far from home, I asked my wife to collect me when I was sufficiently partied out and ready to fall over. She agreed. I love a good plan.

The company had laid on transport for the occasion, ferrying us from the works to the hall. Great. Thinking it would probably be a good idea to protect my car from would be vandals, I drove it into the store hall along with the manager’s car. No problem, I thought. I can get my good lady wife to bring me out here on Saturday and I can get my car out of the hall and all will be well. But no. On getting to the works on Saturday, we found that my entry card wouldn’t unlock the main door. One has to have a special card for that. You live and learn. Sorry wife, for inconveniencing you for nothing.

Oh well, no problem. I could always drive out on Monday morning in her car and move my car. Then I could drive the wife’s car back home and she could take me to work at 2:00 PM and I can drive my own car home. With a Herculean effort, I rose at six and arrived at the works at 7:00 AM and moved my car.

Home again, home again jiggety-jog. To quote some long forgotten children’s rhyme. My wife drove me to work at 2:00 and I thought all was going nicely to plan. It was. Until I realised that I had changed into my working clothes and that my car keys were in my jacket pocket at home!

And so it was, that my dear long-suffering wife had to climb into her old car again and drive all the way back to my workplace to deliver my keys.

I am now referred to as “The Christmas Cretin”.

I’d better come up with a pretty spectacular Christmas present for her.

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