Our move has opened up a variety of different things to cook. My wish list of things that I have always wanted to try have become possible. Different kinds of fish, goose, duck, lamb(cheaper here), curries, and in this case oxtail. For some Americans this may sound weird. In the south, it is commonly cooked. Here in the UK they make soup with it.
In the grocery store it is pretty cheap. Therefore, I was excited to try it. Beware it is very fatty. Oxtail is from the tail hence the name.
Oxtail Stew (recipe adapted from Food Network by The Neelys)
2 lb (1 kg) oxtail, try and find the meatiest oxtails
1/2 cup flour (I used wheat flour because that is all they we ever have)
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 carrots, chopped into chunks
2 celery stalks, chopped into chunks
4 fresh thyme stalks
1/4 cup tomato paste
15 oz (500 g) can of chopped tomatoes
1 bottle dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 bay leaves
1 Knorr Beef Stock Pot (or 2 beef boullion cups)
8 oz (250 g) brown mushrooms, cut in half
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Using cold water wash and dry the oxtails.
Mix together flour, salt and pepper.
Dredge the oxtails in the flour mixture.
Heat up a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of rapeseed oil. If you do not have rapeseed you can use olive oil.
Brown all of the oxtails on all sides. Then transfer them to a plate.
Throw the onion, carrot, celery, thyme, and garlic into the pot and sauté. If you are weary about the garlic being left whole. Do not worry about it. This is going to cook so long that it will dissolve and become amazing.
Sauté the veggies until the onions are translucent. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. It is very important that you season food in stages. Every time you add something new you could season.
Add the 1/4 cup of tomato paste into the vegetables. Stir together so that the paste is incorporated will.
Add about a 1/2 a cup of the wine to the mixture. Using a wooden spoon scrap the bottom so that the wonderful bits that are stuck to the pan come up. This is called deglazing.
Add the rest of the wine, chopped tomatoes, Knorr beef stock pot(see next picture), a can full of water, and two bay leaves.
I love these things. I think they are starting to come out in the US and I would highly recommend them. They come in chicken, beef, fish, vegetable, and herbs.
Add the oxtails back into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover. Leave alone for three hours! You can stir every once in a while. I think this would work wonderfully in the crock pot.
After the three hours remove the oxtails from the pot. You may need forks to remove the meat from the bones because they will be hot.
While I am dealing with the oxtails I let the rest of the stew simmer without a lid. This will let the stew reduce a little bit.
After removing the meat from the bones the best I could I finger through the meat. Oxtail as I mentioned before is very fatty. If you use your fingers to sift through the meat you can pick through the fat. If you take a piece in your fingers and squish it you can feel the tender meat and the thick fatty pieces which will not be pleasant to eat.
This is the fat and bones that were left over. Before adding the meat back to the pot I searched for the thyme stalks and bay leaves.
These are the last two ingredients needed. Throw in the chopped mushrooms, beef, and cider vinegar. The vinegar brightens up the flavor.
Simmer the stew for 30 minutes. This is the great opportunity to prepare the noodles and make a side dish. I cooked up some green beans.
Serve it up and enjoy.
Beware. When you stew the oxtail it breaks down the bone marrow and this causes a jelly like consistency. If you have ever made homemade stock you know that when you refrigerate it it gels up. Don’t worry it is okay to eat. We had this for lunch today and it was just as good the second time around.
I hope you are daring and try this one out. Let me know what you think.