A Word On Food: Oxtails

Those who had access to oxen would butcher them and then harvest their meat. Back in the day, oxtail was specifically the tail of an ox. Peggy Trowbridge Filippone is a writer who develops approachable recipes for home cooks. Her recipes range from Grandma’s favorites to the latest food trends. Slow cooking Oxtail will also produce a delicious broth soup.

A typical Oxtail will weigh around 7 to 8 pounds and is a combination of the tail bone, surrounding meat, and a nice fat layer.It’s meat is luscious and rich. As previously mentioned, oxtails can be found at boutique butchers and sometimes in local butcher shops, depending on the regional taste for oxtails. You may also be able to find oxtails at specialty bernard tomic naked grocers or even big-name grocery stores in your area. It’s best to perform a quick internet search for the best place to find oxtails near you. You may even find a grocery delivery service that will deliver oxtails, along with other groceries, to you. The meat is done when it simply falls off the bone, it really shouldn’t take any effort to take it off!

Once considered a modest meat, it’s now revered as haute cuisine. Generally, older animals have tougher, drier meat than young animals, whether cows, bulls, or oxen. However, their flesh has had more time to develop flavor, especially if they’ve been grass-fed. Meat from older animals also develops flavor as it ages after being butchered.

Return the oxtails to the pot and add the beef stock and the water. Stewed oxtail with butter beans are popular in Jamaica, Trinidad and other West Indian cultures. Sancocho is a revered soup that often features oxtails in Colombia and elsewhere in South America. In Mexico there is a dish featuring both oxtails and beans from Sonora called, inexplicably, “Gallina Pinta.” South Africans cook oxtails in traditional three-legged cast iron skillets.

If you want to enjoy a nice oxtail stew or another recipe, then you may discover that oxtail is expensive. Considering that oxtail isn’t that much meat to begin with, the price may surprise you. More recently, thanks to the nose-to-tail movement among chefs and home cooks alike, oxtail has become more and more popular — and its price has risen as a result. Today, a pound of oxtail will cost you $5 to $10, depending on the quality of the meat, says Prepared Cooks. Experiment by going to supermarkets, butcher shops, and specialty Asian and other international grocers to find the best prices. “I had oxtail for the first time last year, and it was incredible. It’s a little like eating the tenderest, most flavourful ribs you can find,” one user added.

Traditionally, it came from oxen, neutered adult cattle used as dray animals. Over time, however, oxtails have been harvested from any sort of cattle, including steers and veal cows. In the piece of oxtail below you can actually see this quite clearly. Each cylinder of muscle is surrounded by fat and connective tissue, which are whitish. That bone in the middle is also crucial to how an oxtail cooks.

The flesh of cattle over a year old is red and referred to as beef. Oxtails are fatty (for those who don’t know) and are traditionally cooked this way. It is best to boil them first, to get rid of some of the fat.

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