Live Real. Eat Real.

Oxtail Stew

Happy Monday morning, y’all!  I hope you had a nice weekend – we certainly did.   It was a very busy weekend, though; we not only did our usual weekend chores but also cleaned out the cabinets in the master bath.  Apparently just in the nick of time – I’m amazed the people from that hoarders show haven’t been knocking on our door.  I found makeup in there that is older than The Young One and enough, er, feminine products to last me through the remainder of the whole menopause thing.

TMI, I know.  Sorry about that.

At any rate, we spent the majority of the weekend cooking.  Much of it very basic, but very necessary: we not only rendered 5 pounds of lard, but made both chicken and beef stocks.  Beloved, giddy from temperatures in the 40s for the first time in months, dragged the smoker out of the garage and smoked a brisket.

In our driveway.

And Saturday night, I made this wonderful, wonderful stew.

When we purchased our side of beef last June, I asked for all of the “alternate” cuts if the people buying the other half of our cow didn’t want them.  And they didn’t, so I ended up with the marrow bones, tallow, liver, kidneys, heart, tongue – and the tail.  The heart and tongue are still in the freezer (the kidneys went into some dog food for Scooter, and I suspect the heart will as well, although I believe we’re going to have the heart from our next cow mixed into the ground beef); the tail had been languishing away in there as well.  Beloved finally talked me into taking it out and making a stew of it while there was still weather cold enough to warrant such a dish.

I don’t know why I waited so long – this has to be the very best stew I’ve ever eaten.  The long braising of the meat made it so tender it literally melted in the mouth, and the stew was rich and velvety and intensely flavorful.  I can guarantee that I will NOT wait nine months to cook the one from our next side of beef.

Oxtails

Oxtails

Oxtails Seared

Oxtails Seared

Oxtail Mirepoix

Oxtail Mirepoix

Oxtail Braising

Oxtail Braising

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

serves 6

3 pounds oxtails, separated at the joints
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons beef tallow or other cooking fat
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
2 cups dry red wine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 small turnips, peeled and cut into large pieces

Melt the tallow (or other cooking fat) over medium-high heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven – preferably cast iron. Sprinkle the oxtails with salt and pepper; add them to the pot and sear them on all sides, working batches if necessary. Remove them from the Dutch oven to a plate and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the diced onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft – about 5 minutes. Place the oxtail back to in pot, along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate, and add the stock, wine, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and a teaspoon of salt (halve the amount of salt if using canned stock).

Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender; uncover for the last half hour if the mixture is still “soupy” to allow the liquid to reduce.

One hour before the oxtail is done, heat the oven to 350 F. Toss the carrots, parsnips and turnips with the olive oil and roast them for 45 minutes to an hour, or until lightly browned and cooked through.

Remove the oxtails from the stew and cut the meat from the bones. Add the meat back to the stew, along with the roasted vegetables, and serve.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)

Posted in participation with Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday


23 comments

Be says:

Let me tell you the aroma of this stew was DIVINE! Every time I walked into the kitchen Sunday Morning, I was reminded about how tasty this was! nom nom!

Jan says:

We’re going to fight over the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, aren’t we? :P

chuck says:

I am now freaked out. I was literally just minutes ago, looking for an oxtail recipe. Thank you for reading my mind.

Jan says:

You’re welcome! :D You have to let me know how yours comes out.

One of my favorite winter dishes as a kid was my mom’s oxtail stew. I still have her recipe but I haven’t made it in at least 5 years. Next time we have cold weather …!

Jan says:

Could you share the recipe? I’d love to try it!

Lisa says:

The Chinese adore oxtail. It’s a mainstay.

Jan says:

And I can see why!

I love oxtail. I especially love shredding it, and serving it inside ravioli. Well, that was back in the pasta days… I love the stew you have going on here. I find that with parts like these, the gelatin content of the meat is what gives it the appeal. Take beef cheeks, another favorite of mine. I could eat them all day long!
I love the new theme, looking great!

Jan says:

Thanks – I like the new theme, too, but I’m just desperate for Spring. LOL

I’ve heard great things about beef cheeks – I may ask our butcher if they can add them to our next cutting.

Loving the new masthead, takes the attention off the rare meat. :-)
People have been after me for years to try oxtail soup. The idea of eating tail has never been a temptation.
Still not interested. :-)

Jan says:

Awwwww, that’s too bad, ’cause this was REALLY tasty.

Mama Badger says:

Poor cow. How’s he getting around with no tail? That just looks like it hurt.

The last time I had oxtail was back in NY at a Jamaican place. MMmmmmm.

Be says:

LOL – When Chuck lost his tail he lost balance and fell right into our freezer!

Jan says:

And we are grateful for it!

Michele says:

I think that when you no longer need the feminine hygiene products you could put them in the smoker. Mine went into the fire pit. I made a bit of a production out of it. Almost like a ritual burning. TMI? Nope, important information that needs to be passed on.

Jan says:

A ritualistic burning of the “unmentionables”?? Sounds like a plan to me!! LOL

vodkamom says:

I LOVE the look of the blog!! Incredible.

And the pics?? Holy cow!! What camera do you have?????? I need one of those.

Oh, and send the cook. asap.

Jan says:

Thanks! I’m rather partial to the March theme, too.

I have a Nikon D90 – or, as Beloved calls it, The Last Camera I Will Ever Buy.

You’re not that far from me – hop in the car and come on over!

Gretchen says:

If it makes you feel any better, I recently found some eyeshadow that I’ve had since the mid-’80s. I keep thinking it will come in handy if I ever go to an ’80s theme party. And it amazes me that your photographic skills are such that you can make a raw oxtail rather beautiful.

Jan says:

LOl – I was surprised at how well the picture of the raw oxtail came out, too. You can thank Beloved for that one – he suggested it.

Lenguas says:

[...] fact that since we’ve been buying our meat from local farmers, in bulk, we’ve become a bit more adventurous with our meals.  And I’m glad, because some of this stuff I’d never [...]

Beth says:

My pastured beef/pork farm does a montly delivery to our farmer’s market site in the winter and last month oxtail were on sale for a mere $3.00 a piece. I knew that if nothing else, I’d make bone broth for that price, and got a dozen. Thanks for giving me reason to use the meat too; frugality for the win!

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