FEATURE: Cooking With Anime - Dragon Tail from "Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid"
Dragon Tales? No, no, not that childish cartoon. We're talking ACTUAL dragon tail from an ACTUAL dragon.
Dragon tail...no, no. Not the formative children's show you probably watched in your youth (at least in America). No, today we're talking about Dragon TAIL, as in, the appendage (is that the right terminology?) found on mythical (are they, though?) creatures.
In the first episode of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, the titular dragon is trying to prove that she can earn her keep as a maid for Miss Kobayashi. Very adorably, she proves herself competent at a variety of house skills, such as cleaning and doing laundry. She can even remove poisons from large hunks of meat! Why would she need that skill, you might ask? Well, because she decides to cook up HER OWN TAIL, which is naturally poisonous.
Which brings me to this blog post today. I needed to make a dragon's tail. More importantly, I first needed to find a dragon's tail. But where does one get a dragon's tail?
The answer is, of course, that dragons are so rare and mythical that you can't actually buy dragon meat in the grocery store. Since I am severely lacking in the tools and skills necessary to hunt down an actual dragon, I turned to Twitter to find the closest substitute possible.
All my Twitter pals were very helpful in highlighting a type of meat that is so far out of the possibility for me, it might as well be actual dragon meat. Not that I didn't appreciate the help- I found it to be quite fun to speculate as to how many calories a dragon would burn while flying vs walking. And alligator tail sounded like a great idea. The thing is... I don't know about where you live, but in California, ALLIGATOR MEAT IS NOT A NORMAL SELECTION AT THE GROCERY STORE.
In fact, a lot of meat is not available at the typical grocery store in California, likely because a lot of people in California like to eat vegetables and fruits and things of that nature. Also, I live in a college town, where the majority of people here will settle for a cold Chipotle burrito due to their inability to boil water on their own. It's a rather small college town, so even for the people who can cook, the selection is limited because demand is, as outlined above, not exactly high for rare and speciality meats.
All of this has only convinced me more that I need to move to a more populated part of the state.
So, what was I to do? I decided to wander Whole Foods, the store with the best meat selection in town, to see what they had in the way of extremely large hunks of meat. And, the only thing I could find that would fit the bill was a chuck roast. Not exactly the most impressive of meats. To be clear, if I had more of a choice, I would have gone with a different cut of meat. I think a veal shank, though a little small, would make for a great selection. But, with very little options, I used what was available to produce a truly delicious "dragon tail" recipe. The meat, roasted to juicy, succulent perfection, is garnished with a bright green herb sauce that evokes the green scales of a dragon. If you wanted, you could even mix in edible gold glitter (which I have, and which I am honestly kicking myself for not including) to make it sparkle and shimmer, sort of like the sauce from the anime. Even better, the whole dish is actually pretty easy to make, since most of it involves waiting around for the huge chunk of meat to cook.
Check out the video below for a visual on instructions. Ingredients and picture instructions are listed just below.
Magic Green Sauce:
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- ~1 tbs fresh oregano
- ~1 tbs fresh thyme
- ~1 tbs fresh taragon
- ~3 cloves fresh garlic
- ~3/4 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 3 lb Chuck Roast
- 3 cups beef stock
- Onion (optional)
- Carrots (optional)
- Salt + Pepper
- Magic Green Sauce
- Olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 275 Fahrenheit for the roast. Roast the pepper over a flame, or in the oven, until skin is blistered.
Put all ingredients for Magic Green Sauce, including roasted pepper, except for oilve oil and salt, into a food processor and blend together. When finely chopped, Drizzle olive oil in until the consistency is to your preference. Flavor with salt.
2. If using, roughly chop onion and carrots to cook with the meat.
4. Season each side of the roast with salt and pepper.
5. Heat up some olive oil in a dutch oven. Brown the onions, about 3 minutes, and then brown carrots, about 2-3 minutes. Set vegetables aside on a plate.
6. Add more olive oil to the pan and bring up to a very high heat. Sear each side of the roast, ~1 minute per side, until nicely browned. Then, set aside on a plate.
7. Pour about 1 cup of beef broth into the bottom of the pan, and deglaze the pan with a whisk by vigorously rubbing up all the browned spots left on the bottom of the pan by the vegetables and meat.
8. Put meat back in, and surround with vegetables. Pour beef stock in until it comes up halfway to the top of the roast. Sprinkle fresh herbs on the vegetables. Use the Magic Green Sauce to season the top of the roast.
9. Place in the oven ~3 hours, or until it is tender and falls apart easily when attacked by a fork.
10. Remove from pan, and cut into slices. Garnish with more Magic Green Sauce. And now it's done!!