Monday, November 12, 2012

GLAZED OXTAIL


Written by Peter Wright, NTP

Oxtail originally referred to the tail of an ox, an ox being a castrated male steer.  Today oxtail refers simply to a cow’s tail.  If you purchase a whole or half cow you will need to ask specifically for the cow’s tail as it is generally not provided with the other cuts.  Tails weigh from two to four pounds and contain gelatin-rich beef.  I confess I had never eaten a cow’s tail before cooking this one but I found it completely delicious!

Oxtail is traditionally cooked in a stew but I wanted to try something different.  An internet search turned up a wonderful recipe for Glazed Oxtail at Simply Recipes http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/glazed_oxtails/ .  I made some very slight modifications to the recipe as posted there and include my personal cooking experience and assessment of the results below.

Glazed Oxtail



Ingredients:
1 oxtail - A single tail would make about two servings.
Oxtail from the Butcher
sea salt
coconut oil
2 cups chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrot
1 bottle red wine
4 cups bone broth
1 teaspoon thyme
black pepper

Instructions:
1                     Cut the tail into sections.  I found this a bit of a challenge.  As an extension of the backbone, the tail is a series of joints.  To divide the tail you must cut between the joints.  Feel along the tail to find the prominent ridges of the joints and carefully work a knife in between.  When you hit the right spot the knife will cut through relatively easily.

2                     Brown the oxtail sections.  Heat coconut oil in a large pan.  Roll the oxtail sections in a light coating of sea salt then place in the pan.  Brown well on all sides then remove and set aside.
Browning the Oxtail


3                     Sauté the vegetables, adding more coconut oil if needed.  Once the vegetables soften and have browned nicely remove them from the pan and set aside.

4                     Prepare the wine glaze.   Never having cooked with wine, I asked a friend on what to use and received this advice, "Buy the cheapest merlot or Pinot Noir you can find".  I followed the advice!  Add the full bottle of wine to the now empty pan.  Increase the heat and scrape any cooked meat from the pan as the wine boils.  Let the wine boil away until it is reduce to 1 cup.

5                     Simmer the oxtails.  Add the bone broth to the pan along with the oxtail sections.  Add water if the oxtail is not covered.  Add thyme.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 3 hours.  As an alternative, which I went with, you can place in a covered pan and bake in the oven on 350 degrees for three hours.  Add the vegetable back for the last ½ hour.

6                     Chill overnight.  Remove from the heat, let cool, then place in the frig overnight.  This helps separate the fat and improves the flavor.

7                     Remove rendered fat.  Remove pan from frig and scrape off rendered fat.  Save for cooking.

Rendered Fat from Oxtail

8                     Separate meat from bones.  Heat oxtails in pan on medium heat for about half an hour or until meat pulls easily from bone.  Let oxtails cool and then remove meat from bones.  

9                     Final preparation.  Boil remaining broth down to about half.  Add back meat from oxtail and increase to a boil.  Boil away until liquid is reduced to a light syrup.

Final preparation of Glazed Oxtail


I served the oxtail with fresh chard and white rice.  The meat is very rich and the wine glaze imparts a wonderfully light hint of sweetness.  It really tasted fabulous!  

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor before making any dietary or exercise changes. We are not medical professionals.


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