Get Your Oxtails Wagging

Oxtails, oh how I love you.  So many things to do with you.  Yes, I do love me some oxtails.  For many, it’s on the alternative meats list and I really don’t know why.  I do get the internal organs, and even the tongue, but the not oxtails.  They taste just like meat, and to me, really don’t look that strange.  Again, the internal organs and tongue I’ll say do qualify as maybe a little strange looking.  There is a little Hawaiian restaurant close to where I live that makes a delicious soup using them.  It’s a pretty basic soup, but packs so much flavor.  Clearly I like it.  Tonight’s dinner is braised oxtails.  If you are not a wine fan you could always omit it, use extra beef broth and still have a really delicious dish.

Oxtails are not the cheapest piece of meat, where I live, around $5 per pound.  Depending on how many people you are trying to feed, these can add up.  Tonight I used about six pounds.  Add in the wine, which you should use something you can also drink, plus the rest of the ingredients and you are probably looking at about fifty dollars.  But divide that by four people and then it seems a little more reasonable…  I guess I’m feeling a little guilty after getting rid of my “economical eats” section on my website.

For the Recipe:

3 tbsp. olive oil

6 lbs. oxtails

salt and pepper

1 750 ml drinkable red wine

2 large onions (I only had medium size in the house so I used 3), chopped

3 carrots, chopped

3 celery ribs, chopped

3 bay leaves

1/2 c. parsley, minced

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

1 tbsp. fresh thyme

2 c. beef stock

2 c. crushed tomatoes

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In a heavy saucepan boil the wine until it reduces to 2 cups (you don’t need to be exact, but close).  Meanwhile, generously season the oxtails with the salt and pepper.

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Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and brown the oxtails on all sides.  Be sure not to overcrowd the pot or you will not brown them, you will steam them.  You will probably need to do this in batches.  Set them aside, leaving the meat goodness on the pot.  Throw in your onions, carrots, celery and cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, reduce heat just a tad and add bay leaves, parsley, garlic, and thyme.  Cook another 10 minutes until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables start to get soft, but not cooked through.  Add the 2 cups of reduced wine, beef stock and crushed tomatoes.  Let cook for 5 minutes to get the liquids heated up.  Put Dutch oven into a preheated 325 F oven for 3 or so hours.  Meat should be extremely tender.  Take the meat out and keep it warm.  Take the bay leaves out, then use an emulsion blender to make the liquid and vegetables into a smooth thick sauce.  If you use a blender for this step, use extreme caution when putting hot liquid into a blender, you don’t want it to explode on you!!

oxtails with potatoes

I like to serve this with either creamy polenta or mashed potatoes.

Enjoy!!

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