Moikel recently did a great post on Roman butcher-style oxtail:
And there is at least one other great looking oxtail post from a little further back by BIG TWIG:
If you haven't already looked at these posts, you should definitely check them out. Fantastic posts.
However, since there are like 50 billion posts on stuff like brisket, pulled pork, etc., I figure there is room for another post on oxtail, right?
This recipe follows the same braising technique that Moikel and BIG TWIG use in their posts. I mostly followed a recipe posted on a website called "The Primal Palate", but made a few modifications and used a much longer cooking time:
Start off by chopping up 4-5 slices of good smokey bacon. Cook the chopped bacon until it has rendered off most of its fat and is starting to get crisp. It is easiest if you do this in a pan that is also ovenproof and that you can cover tightly (a braising dish is ideal). That way you can do everything in one pan.
Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the fat behind. Take a couple of oxtail (sliced into segments), and dust them generously with smoked paprika, kosher salt or hickory smoked salt if you have it, and freshly ground black pepper. Sear the oxtail in the bacon fat.
I only had 1 oxtail, so I added in a slice of beef shank. Gave that a nice sear too.
Remove the oxtail from the pan. Add 1 large chopped onion to the pan. You might need to add in a little more fat (like EVOO) if the pan looks too dry. Caramelize the onion.
Mince a few cloves of garlic and throw those in for the last minute or two of cooking the onion.
Deglaze the pan with a cup or so of beef stock, homemade if you have it.
Add in a 15 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Stir and bring to a simmer.
Nestle your oxtail into the braising liquid. Top with the cooked bacon. Cover your pan tightly, and put in a 325 deg F oven for 3 1/2 or 4 hours, or until the meat easily pulls away from the bone. I had plenty of braising liquid so I didn't bother to flip the oxtail while they were cooking, but if you have less liquid just flip the oxtail a few times while it is cooking.
I cooked the oxtail the day before serving it, so to make it easy I just stripped the meat and refrigerated it overnight. Here is the meat.
If you cook your oxtail until tender, all the meat and connective tissue will easily strip away from the bones. So here is what is left. You eat everything else.
I refrigerated the braising liquid separately from the meat, and then removed the solidified fat from the braising liquid when it had cooled.
Tonight I reheated the stripped meat in the defatted braising liquid for about an hour in the oven, covered. Meanwhile, I steamed some broccoli, and made some mashed yukon golds.
The plated shot!
If you end up with any leftover braising liquid, be sure to save it in the freezer. It adds a lot of flavor when used in place of water or stock when making chili, for example.
Thanks for checking out my post!!