I am a big fan of nose to tail eating, and this is literally the tail…
Oxtails make a delicious meaty stew and I love them. But I don’t get to eat them very often because, unlike a lot of offal, they are not particularly cheap. Part of that I think is due to the fact that there is only one tail per cow, but also, they became fashionable when a lot of chefs started to use them, and the price rocketed. If possible, use grass-fed oxtails.
This is a slow cooker recipe, which tenderizes the meat wonderfully and extracts plenty of nutrients from the bones.
It is perfect for a cold winters day. Or even a snowy one like today. First day of spring and it is snowing here in Calgary!
serves 6- 8 with plenty of leftovers
- 2.3kg (aprox 5lb) of oxtail cut into chunks. This was 2 large oxtails – get the butcher to cut them up for you
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 onions – peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots – peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 turnips – peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 stalks of celery – cut into chunks
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
- 1 796ml (28floz) can of diced tomatoes
- 4-5 cups of bone broth/stock
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F. Place the cut up oxtail on a large rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until browned. This step is entirely optional, but does improve the flavour and colour of the stew.
Transfer the oxtails to the slow cooker along with the vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and enough bone broth to just cover the contents.
Cook on low for 8 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.
Remove the bones from the stew, allow them to cool until you are able to handle them, and pull off any meat. Return the meat to the stew and discard the bones. Mix the tapioca flour with a little water and stir into the stew and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until thickened.
I serve this stew with a big pile of sauteed greens and some mashed root vegetables.
This recipe makes enough for dinner and then plenty of leftovers that can be reheated for lunch the next day.
In some ways, it is even better for being kept overnight in the fridge.