Oxtail: From Taste to Recipes and Where to Buy It

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What is oxtail?

Oxtail is the tail of a cow. It’s a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It’s also quite expensive.

Oxtail is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It’s also quite expensive. So let’s look at everything you need to know about this delicious cut of meat.

What is oxtail

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What Exactly is Oxtail?

Oxtail is a cut of meat that comes from the tail of an ox or a cow. Despite its name, oxtail can come from either a cow or a calf, and it is typically skinned and cut into pieces that weigh around 2-3 pounds each. The tail is made up of several small bones, surrounded by cartilage and marrow, which creates a rich and deeply flavorful dish when cooked properly.

What’s the Flavor of Oxtail?

Oxtail is a beef cut that is rich in flavor and contains a lot of meat. The meat is short and worth the price, despite being pretty expensive. The taste of oxtail is pretty strong, and it’s a good choice for making a sauce. When simmered and served, oxtail creates a mouth-watering dish that is simply extraordinary.

What Does Oxtail Taste Like?

Oxtail tastes similar to beef, but it’s more fatty and has a close presence of fat. The fat brings a special level of flavor to the meat, providing a rich and strong taste. Despite the fatty content, oxtail is surprisingly low in price, making it one of the cheapest cuts of beef sold. The taste of oxtail is described as having a heart-like flavor, and it’s incredibly delicious.

Mastering the Art of Cooking Oxtail

  • Ask your butcher to trim excess fat and cut the oxtails into large pieces.
  • Rinse the oxtail pieces under running water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Season the oxtail pieces with salt, black pepper, and any other spices you want to add.

Serving Suggestions

  • Once the oxtail is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool slightly.
  • Remove any excess fat from the liquid and strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer.
  • Return the sauce to the pot and continue cooking it over medium-high heat until it thickens slightly.
  • Serve the oxtail with the sauce and a variety of sides such as white rice, bread, or even egg noodles.
  • For a spicy twist, add some hot sauce or chili flakes to the sauce.

Additional Tips

  • Oxtail is a tough cut of meat that contains plenty of protein, so it’s ideal for making soups and stews.
  • The cooking time depends on the size of the oxtail pieces and the method you’re using, so be sure to check the meat regularly.
  • Adding fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary can give your dish a nice flavor.
  • If you want a richer sauce, you can add a bit of red or white wine to the pot.
  • Oxtail is a typical dish in many Caribbean and African cuisines, so there are tons of recipe variations depending on the region.
  • Pay attention to the amount of liquid you’re adding to the pot, as too much can make the sauce too watery and too little can make it too dry.
  • Covering the pot while cooking helps to keep the moisture in and prevents the oxtail from drying out.
  • The biggest change you can make to the flavor of your oxtail is the spices you use, so feel free to experiment with different combinations.

Get Inspired with These Asian Recipes Featuring Oxtail

If you love Chinese food, this recipe is a must-try. Chinese-style braised oxtail is an extremely rich and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a special occasion or a cozy night in. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs oxtail, cut into rounds
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or substitute with regular or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or substitute with dry sherry)
  • 2 cups water or beef stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 piece rock sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oxtail and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add onions and garlic to the pot and stir-fry until fragrant.
3. Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and Shaoxing wine. Stir to combine.
4. Add oxtail back to the pot and pour in water or beef stock. Add bay leaves and rock sugar (if using).
5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
6. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Sticky Oxtail in Soy Sauce

This recipe is a new take on the classic Chinese-style braised oxtail. It’s inspired by the sticky pork belly dish that’s widely popular in Western countries. The result is a sticky, sweet, and savory dish that’s sure to impress.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs oxtail, cut into rounds
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oxtail and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add garlic, ginger, and green onions to the pot and stir-fry until fragrant.
3. Add soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and water. Stir to combine.
4. Add oxtail back to the pot and pour in enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
5. Cover and continue cooking for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
6. Remove the oxtail from the pot and set aside. Skim off any fat from the surface of the sauce.
7. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking the sauce until it thickens and becomes sticky.
8. Add the oxtail back to the pot and stir to coat with the sticky sauce.
9. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Oxtail Fried Rice

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to use up leftover oxtail, try making oxtail fried rice. It’s a great way to add heartiness and flavor to this classic dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked rice, chilled
  • 1 cup cooked oxtail meat, shredded
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • Green onions, chopped (optional)

Instructions:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.
2. Add peas and carrots and stir-fry for a minute.
3. Add oxtail meat and stir-fry for another minute.
4. Push everything to one side of the skillet and pour in the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs until cooked, then mix everything together.
5. Add chilled rice and stir-fry until heated through.
6. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.
7. Garnish with chopped green onions (if using) and serve hot.

Oxtail Soup

Oxtail soup is a classic dish that’s widely popular in many Asian countries. It’s a hearty and comforting soup that’s perfect for cold weather or when you’re feeling under the weather. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs oxtail, cut into rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups water or beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Steamed rice, to serve

Instructions:
1. Clean the oxtail by rinsing it under cold water and removing any excess fat.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oxtail and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
3. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to the pot and stir-fry until fragrant.
4. Add oxtail back to the pot and pour in water or beef stock. Add bay leaf.
5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
6. Remove the oxtail from the pot and set aside. Skim off any fat from the surface of the soup.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Where to Find the Best Oxtail: Tips and Tricks

If you want to buy oxtail but don’t have the time to go to a physical store, online delivery services are an excellent alternative. Here are some of the best options:

  • Instacart: This app offers same-day delivery or pickup from local stores. You can select oxtail as an item and choose from a variety of stores in your area. The prices and availability of oxtail may vary depending on your location, but Instacart offers tons of choices and typically has good stock.
  • Amazon Fresh: Amazon Fresh is another great option for online delivery. You can find oxtail in the “meat” section of the app or website. The prices are approximately the same as regular stores, and Amazon Fresh offers a wide variety of cuts and types of oxtail.
  • ButcherBox: If you want to buy oxtail in bulk, ButcherBox is an excellent choice. They offer high-quality beef products, including oxtail, and deliver them directly to your doorstep. The prices are a bit higher than regular stores, but the quality is top-notch.

Physical Stores

If you prefer to buy oxtail in person, there are plenty of options available. Here are some of the best places to find oxtail:

  • Local Butchers: Local butchers are a great option if you want to buy oxtail. They typically offer excellent customer service and can help you pick the perfect cut for your needs. You can also ask them for tips on how to cook oxtail or for alternative ways to use it in recipes.
  • Supermarkets: Most supermarkets carry oxtail in their meat section. You can find it in the same area as other beef products. The prices and quality may vary depending on the store, but it’s a good option if you need oxtail quickly and don’t want to spend too much money.
  • Asian Markets: If you’re looking for oxtail to use in Asian recipes, Asian markets are a great place to start. They typically have a wide variety of cuts and offer oxtail at a lower price than regular stores. The only downside is that the instructions may not be in English, so make sure to ask for help if you need it.

Everything You Need to Know About Oxtail

Oxtail is commonly used in stews, soups, and stocks. In the West, it is often the main dish served with rice or potatoes. In South Korea, oxtail is used to make a thick and flavorful soup called kkori gomtang. In Italy, oxtail is used in hearty stews and solo as a filling for pies.

What parts of the animal does oxtail come from?

Oxtail is a cut of beef that comes from the tail of the animal. It contains a high number of bones, meat, and fat, making it a protein-rich material.

Is oxtail expensive?

Oxtail is considered a relatively cheap cut of meat, but it can be more expensive than other cuts because of its popularity.

How is oxtail prepared?

Oxtail can be prepared in a variety of ways, including boiled, roasted, and stewed. It is often cooked for a long time to improve its tenderness and flavor. Adding additional ingredients like bacon, ginger, and ground beef can help improve the flavor.

Can oxtail be used as a substitute for other cuts of meat?

Oxtail can be used as a substitute for other cuts of meat in many dishes. It is often used as a substitute for short ribs or beef shank.

What are some popular versions of oxtail dishes?

Some popular versions of oxtail dishes include oxtail soup, oxtail stew, and oxtail pot roast.

What are some key functions of oxtail in cooking?

Oxtail is commonly used to add flavor and protein to dishes. It is also used to improve the texture of stews and soups.

What are some tips for cooking with oxtail?

Some tips for cooking with oxtail include:

  • Removing any excess fat before cooking
  • Cooking for a long time to improve tenderness
  • Using a slow cooker or pressure cooker to save time
  • Adding additional ingredients like bacon, ginger, and ground beef to improve flavor

What are some related cuts of meat?

Some related cuts of meat include beef rib, beef blade, and beef shoulder. Veal shank is also a similar cut of meat.

Are there any health concerns related to consuming oxtail?

Consuming oxtail in moderation is generally considered safe. However, because it contains a lot of internal fat, it can cause health problems if consumed in large amounts. It is also high in cholesterol.

Where can I find more information about oxtail?

For more information about oxtail, you can check out the Wikimedia Commons page on oxtails or consult cooking websites and recipe books that include oxtail dishes.

Conclusion

Oxtail is a cut of beef from the tail of a cow. It’s a flavorful meat that’s perfect for stews, soups, and curries. It’s a great way to add some extra protein to your meal. 

So, if you’re looking for a new ingredient to try, why not give oxtail a go? You might be surprised by how delicious it is.

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.