Braised Oxtail | Recipe | Slow-Cooked Oxtail

When I head out to grocery shop, I rarely have in mind what I'm going to cook during the week.  I walk around the store and pick up whatever produce and meat looks fresh.  It's how I ended up cooking kumatos, red celery, and chicken feet, to name a few.  And it was this way that I ended up cooking oxtail.

I'd always heard that oxtail is rather fatty, but figured I'd give it a try.  I discovered a few tricks to help reduce the amount of fat and have shared them in the recipe below.  This recipe requires about 20 minutes of prep time and three hours of heads-off cooking time.  It yields a wonderful sauce and tender meat, perfect for eating with rice (or better yet, risotto!)  The butcher normally cuts the oxtail into 2-inch pieces.  If the oxtail isn't already cut, but sure to ask the butcher to cut it for you.

Braised Oxtail Recipe
Yields: 2 servings

2 lbs oxtails, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 c flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, slices
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
5 strips bacon, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c beef stock (or 1 c water and beef bullion)
3/4 c white wine
2 large tomatoes, cored and diced (including seeds and juice)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
3 anchovy fillets, smashed with the back of a fork to form a paste
1/3 c Kalamata olives, sliced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Handful chopped parsley
salt and pepper

1. Pat dry oxtails completely and season with salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a dutch oven or medium stock pot over Medium-High heat.  Dredge oxtails through flour and place in dutch oven; brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.  Remove to a plate and cover with foil; set aside.
2. Reduce heat to Medium.  In the same dutch oven, add bacon, onions and carrots and saute until bacon is cooked and onions are soft and translucent, about 7-10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, 1 minute.
3. Return oxtail and any accumulated juiced to the dutch oven.  Add stock through anchovy fillets.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  Cover dutch oven with a lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 hours.  Occasionally skim the fat using a skimmer or slotted spoon.  Remove from heat.
4. To remove additional fat, let pot cool to room temperature and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours or up until overnight.  Fat will congeal at the top.  Skim the fat and return pot to stove.  Cover pot and warm over medium-low heat until simmering.
5. Add olives and vinegar; stir for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Discard bay leaf and adjust seasoning as needed.  Stir in parsley.  Serve with some rice and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma