Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Ingram and Alton Brown

The A&E Bloody Bull+

Elizabeth and I were inspired to tinker with the Bloody Mary after enjoying a very smooth and sophisticated “night-time” version at a cocktail bar in Athens, Greece. It’s actually a variation on a Bloody Bull, which is a BM augmented with beef stock, which we think upgrades the beverage considerably. The “+” here is that we also make it into an aspic (stop giggling) that is the perfect garnish for oysters. Enjoy…responsibly, of course.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 or 2 servings and a batch of aspic
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add the Bloody Mary mix, lemon juice, sambal, and Worcestershire sauce to your blender carafe and blend on medium high for 3 seconds. Strain through a fine wire strainer or sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup. Depending on the strainer, you may need to coax the liquid through with a ladle or large spoon. Discard the solids. Your yield should be between 24 and 28 fluid ounces.
  2. Combine the strained mixture with the stock and the vodka and serve over the rocks or shake to chill and serve straight up with the garnish of your choice.
  3. Now, that’s enough for a small party but here’s what we do: We split the batch in half, which leaves 20 fluid ounces. This is what goes into the aspic. Here’s how.
  4. Pour half a cup of the Bloody Mary into a wide bowl or cup, sprinkle the gelatin over it, then whisk it in. Now here’s the thing…when Elizabeth and I did this, we only used 2 teaspoons of gelatin, but our stock was super concentrated, so it brought a fair amount of gelatin to the party. If your stock is homemade, odds are you could use as little as 2 teaspoons (8 grams) of gelatin, but if you go with 3 teaspoons (same as 1 tablespoon or 12 grams), then you absolutely know it will set. So…judge accordingly.
  5. Allow the gelatin to “bloom” in the cold mixture for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, whisk it again and microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir and check the temperature, which should ideally be between 130 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Whisk the gelatin mixture into the remaining 16 fluid ounces of Bloody Mary and pour into a shallow glass or metal pan, any vessel that results in a 1/2-inch depth (an 11-by-7-inch baking dish is perfect). Refrigerate at least 3 hours to set.
  7. To serve, it’s easiest to cut in the pan using a butter knife or small metal spatula. Scoop out the cubes and serve either on a salad or, as we do…on shucked oysters. I also like them on cottage cheese, but let’s face it…I’m strange.

Cook’s Note

Note on the stock: We make ours with 3 pounds of oxtails and a gallon of water simmered for about 12 hours and strained. If refrigerated, the stock sets up just like a congealed salad. We use it in everything from sauces to soups to, obviously…cocktails.