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Feb 8, 2014 05:27 PM

Beef oxtail

I have a whole beef oxtail in my freezer from pasture raised beef. Please share the recipes as I am not sure how to approach this beast...Thank you!

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  1. I'm for Hawaii Beef Oxtail soup.

    I sometimes cut the oxtail in half and add chuck roast to cut down on greasiness.

    5# oxtails or ~3# oxtail and 1.5# chuck roast (All seared)
    1/2 c. raw peanuts
    1 vidalia onion thin sliced
    5 c. beef broth or beef pho base
    1 garlic clove smashed
    1/2" knob of ginger
    1 stalk of celery cut into large pieces
    1/4 c. whiskey
    2 shots of Worcestershire sauce
    2 tbs soy sauce
    1 tbs honey
    1 bay leaf
    salt & pepper to taste
    2-3 baby pak choi thin sliced
    3 green onions chopped
    good pinch of fresh ciliartro rough chopped
    1 tbs hoisin sauce
    sriracha to taste

    Place all of the first part into a slow cooker and set for 6 hours on low.

    Pull out oxtail (and chuck) of slow cooker. Discard of the bay leaf, ginger knob, and celery. Skim most of the grease. Add pak choi to the slow cooker and set to high for about 1/2 hour. Allow oxtail (chuck) to cool for 20 minutes on cutting board and shred up. Add back to slow cooker.

    When the pak choi is wilted but still green turn off slow cooker and adjust seasoning with hoisin & sriracha. Serve in bowls alone, with rice noodles, or with a side of rice and top soup with cilantro and green onions.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Crockett67

      That's a cool-looking recipe. I like the Asian spin. What connects it to Hawaii, though? (Not to be snarky; just curious.)

      1. re: Bada Bing

        They serve it all over the islands. Zippy's, Kapiolani Coffee Shop, Aiea Bowl, pretty much everywhere. Well with the oxtails intact that is, but here in the states, people get squeamish if I leave them in. :/

        If you go to most Hawaiian chains even in CA, they serve it.

        1. re: Crockett67

          Thanks! I still wonder what makes it Hawaiian. Maybe it's a distinctive fusion--much of it is Chinese, but Sriracha and Worcestershire are departures from that...

          1. re: Bada Bing

            It's a huge fusion bowl with Vietnamese (pho base and similar garnishes), Chinese with the raw peanuts and pak choi, some Filipino with the bay leaf and very simply flavor, American with the whiskey and the Worcestershire sauce, Hawaiian with the ginger, sweet onion, and sweetness. Finally it's sometimes served with buttered corn that is so Japanese.

            This is true Hawaiian.

    2. you have the whole tail - in tact? Where did you find that?

      it is best braised in my opinion - treat it like you would a shank (Osso Buco style recipes).

      1 Reply
      1. re: thimes

        Yes, whole in tact tail...It does not look all that appetizing to me. lol.
        I buy my side a beef from a local farm. Last year, they cut the tail in chunks and I made stew with it - was not overly impressed and lots went to garbage. They year, that just vacuume sealed the entire tail...

      2. I love oxtails; I usually do them pretty much the same everytime I cook them. I season them with s & p, onion powder, granulated garlic, and cumin then sear them off in a dutch oven with a little vegetable oil. Remove the oxtails to a dish; cook some flour in the drippings then add beef stock, red wine, Worcestershire, thickly sliced onion, chopped celery leaves or stalks, chopped carrots, chopped garlic, and a bay leaf . Bring to a simmer for a few minutes and reinforce the seasonings used to season the oxtails.

        Put the oxtails into the liquid, cover then put into a 350F. degree oven for a couple of hours or until meat is fork tender. Sorry, I don't have an actual recipe; I just estimate ingredient quantities.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Braised oxtail for dinner.. just as you would cook beef bourguignon. However, it's best if you leave it in the fridge overnite so you can get rid of the fat. it also tastes much better when you heat it up. Serve with flat noodles or mashed potatoes. Finish with green salad with simple vinaigrette.

          1. re: Cherylptw

            Thank you for the recipe. This is how I would often cook the brisket less the wine. How much wine do you use approximately? A glass or so?

          2. 'All About Braising' by Molly Stevens has a wonderful recipe. If you don't own the book, I'll be happy to type the recipe in for you (unless that's against a Chow rule). It does require a few days to marinate.

            I know someone on Chowhound after trying this recipe declared it the best oxtail they had ever tasted.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sumrtym

              Oh, I would be so very thankful if you could type the recipe or snap a picture of it? Somehow, I think marinating it will get rid of an extreme beefy flavour

              1. re: Allenkii

                She suggests serving this over buttered egg noodles or polenta.

                The oxtails need to marinate for 1 to 2 days before braising (Step 1).

                Braised oxtails taste delicious as soon as they are ready. And they taste even better if you refrigerate them for a day or two in their braising liquid -- either on the bone or off. To serve, heat the oxtails in the braising liquid in a covered baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

                The recipe follows:

                About 5 lbs oxtails, cut into 1-1/2" to 2" pieces

                THE MARINADE:
                1 tsp black peppercorns
                1/2 tsp allspice berries
                4 whole cloves
                Three 5" leafy fresh rosemary sprigs, broken into 1" pieces
                2 bay leaves, broken in half
                1 tsp coarse salt
                One 750-ml bottle dry red wine, preferably Sangiovese or Chianti

                1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
                3/4 cup warm water
                2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
                1/4 lb pancetta in one thick slice, cut into 1/2" dice
                1 large yellow onion (about 8 oz), coarsely chopped
                1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
                1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
                Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
                2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
                2 TBSP tomato paste
                2 TBSP grappa or brandy
                1-1/2 cups beef, veal, or chicken stock, or more as needed

                1. Trimming and marinating the oxtails - 1 to 2 days in advance: Trim any excess fat from the oxtails, but don't trim off any of the silver membrane that attaches the meat to the bone.
                Lay a 6" square of cheesecloth on a work surface. Put the peppercorns, allspice, cloves, rosemary, and bay leaves in the center of the cheesecloth, bring up the corners, and tie with kitchen string to form a little bundle. Place the oxtails in a bowl (not plastic) or a gallon-size heavy-duty zip-lock bag. Tuck the spice bundle in with the oxtails. Sprinkle over the salt, and pour over the entire bottle of wine. Cover the bowl or close the bag and refrigerate, turning the oxtails every 12 hours or so, for 1 to 2 days.

                2. Soaking the porcini mushrooms: Soak the mushrooms in the warm water for 20 to 30 minutes to soften.

                3. Browning the oxtails: Heat the broiler on high. Remove the oxtails from the marinade, reserving the wine and spice bundle. Dry the oxtails with paper towels and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet or broiler tray. Broil the oxtails about 4" from the broiling element, turning with tongs to brown all sides, until they are a beautiful dark brown but not charred, about 25 minutes total. Keep close by while the oxtails are browning, as they can go from perfectly browned to badly charred very quickly if ignored. Set aside, and lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

                4. The aromatics: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other braising pot (6 to 7 qt) over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery and season lightly with salt and pepper. Saute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the pancetta renders some of its fat and the vegetables brown in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. A deep brown crust will form on the bottom of the pot. Add the garlic, then stir in the tomato paste so that it coats the vegetables and pancetta. Saute for another minute or so. By now the bottom of the pot should be quite dark but not at all burnt.
                Lift the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and stir them into the pot. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a triple layer of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to catch any sand or grit. Set aside.

                5. The braising liquid: Pour the grappa or brandy into the pot, and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the crust as best you can. Bring to a boil. Pour in about half the reserved marinade, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced by about half, about 6 minutes. Pour in the remaining wine, add the spice bundle, and boil again until reduced by about half, another 6 minutes or so. Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. The bubbles will begin to appear more sluggish as the liquid thickens somewhat. By reducing the liquids in stages like this, you are building a more complex layering of flavors than you would if you added them all at once.

                6. The braise: Arrange the oxtails in the pot, tucking them in as close together as possible. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it down so that it nearly touches the oxtails and the edges hang over the sides of the pot by about an inch. Set the lid in place and slide the pot into the lower third of the oven to braise gently until the meat is completely tender and pulling away from the bone, about 4 hours. After the first 10 or 20 minutes, check to see that the liquid is not simmering rapidly. If necessary, lower the oven temperature by 10 or 15 degrees. Turn the oxtails with tongs about halfway through cooking, and check that there is enough liquid in the pot. If it appears to be drying out at any time, add 1/2 cup of water.

                7. The finish: Transfer the oxtails to a platter or dish and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Remove the spice bundle, squeeze it gently with tongs or press it against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as you can, and discard. The braising liquid and vegetables will have cooked down to a rather thick, jam-like mix. Tilt the pot, and skim off most of the surface fat with a wide spoon. Don't be too fastidious -- a bit of fat adds tremendous flavor. Taste and evaluate the braising liquid. It should be deeply caramelized and concentrated, a sort of savory compote. If you would like it more deeply concentrated, boil over medium-high heat to reduce. If, on the other hand, the braising liquid is too thick for your taste, add 1/4 cup water or stock to loosen it up. Taste for salt and pepper, and keep warm over low heat.

                8. Serving: If you're serving the oxtails on the bone, place them on a small bed of the braising vegetables and juices on the plate. If you prefer the meat off the bone, use a small knife to cut and tear the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and leaving the meat in chunks. Return the meat to the pot to heat through. Serve the boned meat with the cooked-down braising juices and vegetables ladled over the top.

            2. Braising is my most common prep for oxtail

              Good base for Pho too