Monday, May 24, 2010

Braised Oxtail

As I dive deeper into the endless world of nose-to-tail eating, I am happy to report pleasant surprise. I stare at the beef tongue every time I'm at the meat counter, imagining myself scraping off the bristly taste buds before quickly opting out. So I suppose I haven't dove to the deepest depths, but closer I am getting.
To put things frankly, oxtail is a delight! I have never had to work so little to produce a dish with such preexisting flavor. Another adjective for you; luxurious. Braising makes the whole process a breeze.

Hickory Nut Gap Farm raises lovely pastured meats, and wastes little by offering most of the animal to interested costumers. Oxtail is not the least expensive cut out there, but worth it for a special occasion.

Once used only to describe the tail of a castrated Ox, today's oxtails often come from substantially sized steers. A typical tail weighs 2-4 pounds and is sold skinned, and cut into manageable pieces. The extra gelatin available in the tail is priceless. Your gut will rejoice in such a meal, (gelatin being a super nourishing, mineral rich substance that serves as an anti-inflammitory in the intestinal tract), as will your taste buds....ooops, didn't mean to mention those again. Not yet.

Braised Oxtail:
*2 lbs. local (pastured) oxtails
*3 Tbsp. butter
*1 sweet onion, chopped
*2 celery stalks, finely chopped
*2 carrots, finely chopped
*1 large gold potato, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*sea salt
*fresh ground black pepper
*pinch ground ginger
*3 cups red wine
*1-2 cups high quality broth

In a small saucepan, simmer wine over med-low heat until reduced by half its volume.

Rinse oxtails, and pat dry with a paper towel. Melt butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Salt and pepper oxtails. Add to pot, and brown on each side. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Add onion, celery, carrots, and potato to pot. Saute until tender and aromatic. Add garlic, sea salt, pepper, and ginger.

Nestle the browned oxtails into the pot with sauteed mixture and pour in the wine reduction and broth. Liquid should cover most of oxtails.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Serve over basmati rice with cooked leafy greens!


  1. I hope "everyone" gets to read this one. It's a "GIAA" classic. I love the 2nd reference to taste buds and I am delighted to have this blog as a daily staple. You're really speakin my deutsch if you know what I mean. See ya tomorrow.

  2. You ought to try tounge. It was a regular meal when Iwas a boy and tastes great with horse radish sauce. I never saw anyone scrape of the tongue. It becomes soft with cooking. I think boiling. Grandpa

  3. Grandpa, I have always taken your advice to heart. Ok, I will try it, though I may need to call you to go over preparation tips! Love you!