Time to chase some tail, oxtail that is.
Ugh that was corny.
If you’re like me you tend to walk up to the meat counter with confidence thinking “gonna try something new today” and then you look everything over and end up just buying a rib-eye like you do pretty much every time. Well today was not going to be that day. Whole point of this was to push myself out of my comfort zone so we are going to do this.
I always see these little things sitting there, unsure of how to even cook them, or what to do with them, or honestly if they are even edible or are they like a soup-broth type thing…so after doing some research I learned that yes they are in fact edible, yes they do taste really good, and yes you should try them.
Research can’t be wrong so lets do it, I used a recipe from Melissa Clark to help me get my journey started, it would entail (lol get it?). You will need an oven, a stove, a pot, some other stuff, and about 4 hours to do this.
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 5 pounds oxtail
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 shallots, peeled, trimmed, and sliced.
- 4 large carrots, peeled, and cut into 3-inch chunks
- 2 turnips, chopped up into manageable chunks.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 5 parsley sprigs
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 rosemary branches
- 2 bay leaves
- Grated zest off 1 lemon
- Cooking twine.
Her recipe uses celeriac but I couldn’t find it so I swapped out turnips, worked great. As I get more and more in tune with my culinary self I’ve started to notice that the oxtails in the window at the butcher or grocery store are always different sizes, personally I’d wait until I saw the big meaty chunks sitting there (the ones further up the tail) rather than the big packs of tiny tails with barely any meat on them. Make sure you actually have some twine, or some rope, or something…it is actually needed.
Anyway, time to get crackin’
First things first, mix the salt/pepper/allspice and rub the tails
Next I heated up a pot, added alittle oil and procceeded to sear all the sides of the Oxtails.
Yes, that includes the sides…get in there and make sure they are browned.
Remove the Oxtails from the pot. Don’t clean the pot, you want to save those drippings.
Throw in the shallots on medium, let them caramelize and soak up some drippings…takes about 6-7 minutes.
Throw in the turnips and carrots, let that cook for another 5 minutes.
Throw in the tomato paste for another minute.
Next up is kind of one of the key techniques for this…i’ve never done this before but after doing it i understand why you do it. Take some twine and really tie up your herbs in a bundle. If you just throw them in the pot they are going to break apart and you’re going to end up picking chunks of herbs out of your teeth with every bite.
Heat an oven to 325 degrees. You’re going to throw the wine, stock, and bundle into the pot now. You want to let that simmer and reduce by about half, takes around 15 minutes.
Now its time to return the oxtails to the pot, make room for them and lay them out.
You’re going to want to cover them up now and put them in the oven.
About every 30 minutes you’re going to want to turn them, do this for about 3 hours.
Thats pretty much it then, put the oxtails on a plate, you can spoon off any floating fat on the remaining liquid then spoon some of the remaining liquid onto the tails. For an added wow factor you can grate the lemon zest, alittle chopped parsley, and alittle garlic on top. I opted for just eating the things at this point.
Comes out so tender, like pulled porks decadent and tastier cousin.
Definitely adding this to the arsenal, going to experiment with them a bit more but they were amazingly good, they are pretty fatty but they are so much better than your standard crock-pot style pulled meats. Almost makes me want to make a oxtail bbq sandwich…hmmm…