Chef Anthony Jones: The Culinary Maestro Behind Dirty Habit DC

Braised Oxtails Recipe by Chef Anthony Jones

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Sometimes, the universe introduces you to characters that truly shape your perspective on a subject. As a devoted food enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for culinary wonders. One such marvel was my recent deep dive into the journey of Executive Chef Anthony Jones of Dirty Habit DC on the "Chef AF" podcast. So, let me share a tale that’s sure to excite your inner foodie!

Hailing from Sunderland, MD, Chef Jones is the epitome of talent and dedication. Early in life, he found himself enamored by the cooking prowess displayed on the original Iron Chef. If you're like me, you might recall spending hours glued to episodes of this iconic show. For Chef Jones, it wasn't just a show, but an inspiration. In a touching revelation, he said during the podcast, "The spark was the original episode of Iron Chef. That was the one that pretty much lit the fire in me."

Chef Jones Red Rooster Overtown

Fast forward a few years, and not only did he master the culinary arts, but he also took center stage, clinching the first place on an episode of Food Network’s "Chopped". This title firmly placed him among the culinary elite. But Jones’ journey doesn’t stop there. He has been the driving force in kitchens from Miami to DC, working alongside legends like Marcus Samuelsson at Red Rooster Overtown which was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2022.

Our chat transported me back to a time when his grandmother's kitchen played a symphony of tantalizing aromas. As Chef Jones fondly reminisced, "When you come back in the house for dinner, as soon as you open the door, all those aromas just hit you in the face. The garlic, the herbs…” For me, such memories make culinary adventures genuine and relatable. After all, isn’t the essence of food intertwined with the memories they evoke?

"When you come back in the house for dinner, as soon as you open the door, all those aromas just hit you in the face. The garlic, the herbs…

Now, let’s talk about the magic happening at Dirty Habit DC. The ambiance is split between mysterious allure and atmospheric charm, a mirror to Chef Jones' own journey from humble roots to culinary acclaim. And as seasonally inspired dishes make their way to the table, one can't help but sense the influence of Jones' heritage. As he mentioned, traditional dishes like beans and cornbread, staples from his childhood, now find an elevated spot on the menu, paired with luxurious elements.

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If you ever find yourself at Dirty Habit, know that you’re tasting dishes crafted by a chef whose journey is steeped in passion and grit. Whether it's his accolades like being a guest chef at the Worlds of Flavor Event or his participation in the Diaspora Kitchen Tour in Cameroon, Chef Jones brings a world of experience to his kitchen.

To sum it up, in the world of culinary arts, it's not just about the dish but the story behind it. And with Chef Jones at the helm, Dirty Habit isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an odyssey of flavors, tradition, and innovation.

Braised Oxtails Recipe by Chef Anthony Jones

Braised Oxtails

Ingredients:

  • 6-8ea whole oxtails, cleaned thawed, check for hairs

  • 590g yellow onions, sliced

  • 120g garlic cloves, crushed

  • 470g carrot, peeled and sliced

  • 450g celery sliced

  • 80g fresno, split in half

  • 12g fennel seed

  • 20g black peppercorns

  • 9g cardamom

  • 745g tomato, sliced in half

  • 150g white miso paste

  • 100g dried shiitake

  • 1100g red wine

  • 4800g chicken stock

  • 8g thyme fresh with stem

  • 16g rosemary fresh with stem

  • 330g molasses

  • Salt

  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

Rub the oxtails in salt and pepper. Allow to rest in the fridge overnight (minimum 8 hours) before cooking. When prepared to cook, preheat oven to 475F. Place oxtails on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan and roast in the oven to brown the meat's exterior (about 14 minutes). 

Prepare all vegetables and spices. In a large pot with some oil, begin cooking down vegetables, excluding the tomatoes. Once the vegetables achieve a deep caramel color, add the tomatoes and allow the juices to clean the bottom of the pot. Add in spices and miso, and toast off until they become fragrant (about 8 minutes). 

Add in red wine and let it come to a simmer and reduce by half. Allow it to reduce it by half, then add in molasses and chicken stock. Allow the braising liquid to come to a simmer before removing from the heat. Lower the oven temperature to 260F. 

Place oxtails into a deep baking pan. Pour over enough braising liquid so that the oxtails are 75% covered. Cover oxtails in parchment paper and wrap the braising pan with a few layers of plastic wrap and foil before placing in the oven. 

Cook the oxtails for 4 hours until the meat is extremely tender and pulling away from the bone. 

Recipe note: This recipe is for whole oxtails. If you are unable to find whole oxtails and are using cut smaller round pieces, follow the same steps, just reduce cook time.

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