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Never cooked oxtail before? Here’s what you need to know before you begin

It used to be known as a very cheap cut of meat, but now chefs and home cooks are adopting oxtail for its delicious rich flavour.

by: Katy Rose | 22 May 2019
Recipes, how to, cooking tips, oxtail, slow cooker

Title images by Bibby's Kitchen

Oxtail recipes are popping up all over the internet. Perhaps you're asking yourself "What is oxtail and how do I cook it"? Here is everything you need to know before planning your next beef stew with oxtail.

What is it?

Oxtail is a cut of beef, taken from the tail of the animal. It is a round cut of meat, with a core of bone (the vertebrae), with the muscle and sinew running along the outside of the bone. There is some marrow in the centre of the bone. The meat has a lot of connective tissue, which turns to a rich gelatinous meat after long, slow cooking. 

Recipes, how to, cooking tips, oxtail, slow cooker

Where do I buy it? 

You can find it in the butchery section of a large supermarket along with the other beef products. Ask your butcher if you can’t find it, most stores will stock it during the winter months. 

How do I prepare it? 

The oxtail should be cut into round portions. Simply brown the meat on both sides over a high heat before transferring to the stewing pot. It’s best to start cooking the day before serving. 

How to cook oxtail: 

The only way to cook oxtail - long and slow. The meat, fat and tendons need a long time to cook and soften, resulting in a rich and velvety beef stew. Slow cookers and pressure cookers are ideal for cooking oxtail. Alternatively, you can braise oxtail in a casserole dish in a warm oven overnight for best results. 

The meat is cooked properly when is its soft, jelly like and will fall off the bones easily. 

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

Oxtail in red wine and thyme sauce

Fall-off-the-bone oxtail

Oxtail stew with butternut squash and cinnamon

Recipes, how to, cooking tips, oxtail, slow cooker

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