17 Ways to Cook Oxtails
Oxtails are the most underrated meat cut out there, people tend to choose the meat cut that is easiest to cook and prepare hence cuts like such are only used by restaurants who has the luxury of time. In Asia this is not the case since we eat most cuts of meat, so nothing goes to waste, we also eat not just for sustenance and flavour but to experience a wide array of aromas other culture find pungent as well as a wide selection of textures like slimy, spongy and mushy to name some. Oxtail is one of those left out in the Western world due to the reasons above, a gelatine-rich meat that is full of flavour and texture.
Oxtail traditionally comes from the tail of an oxen but nowadays it is simply the tail of beef cattle or veal of both genders. Preparation in Philippines is different from other Asian countries, in Philippines these meat cuts are not skinned while in most countries I visited they are skinned. The skin when prepared correctly adds more texture to the dish, like a firm gelatine that is both slimy and sticky to the bite. Most Western countries consider this as a “throwaway” meat so if you know a butcher, they are often given free if your butchery does not sell them or the price will be very affordable. Here in Auckland and I guess in cities with large Asian population this is slowly changing. I remember when I came here around 14 years ago, oxtails are hard to find and if you find one, they are very cheap, now it’s not the case a kilogram of this can go around NZ$20.00 in supermarkets.
Oxtails are traditionally used on soups and stews as it gives that rich collagen rich flavour you can’t get on other meat cuts. But nowadays they are prepared in many ways, like in pasta, noodles, even braised and served as a mains. It’s a tough meat so cooking them will take time but trust me it’s all worth the wait, and if you ready to explore and try this meat cut, I had prepared a list for you and learn 17 Ways to Cook Oxtails.
Let’s start with the Filipino recipes that use them
This list would not be complete without this, this is the first dish that comes to mind when a Filipino is presented with oxtail. A rich creamy peanut-based stew served with tropical vegetables and fermented shrimp paste
Baked Beans, saba bananas, peanut butter, black bean paste, tomatoes, leeks and oxtails, Yes, it’s a delicious mish mash of amazing flavours and textures.
A dish by Master Chef Chong which is prepared with a mix of carabao tendons, carabao shanks and oxtails with annatto seed and turmeric which gives it that vibrant colour.
The menudo that you haven’t heard of, a fancy version of Menudo made with bacon, chorizo, chickpeas and you guessed right, oxtail
Enough of the Filipino recipes, now let’s see how the Koreans do it with this dish. Prepared with daikon radish, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds
Pho Bo with Oxtail and Tendons
Now how about some Vietnamese Pho? Cooked in aromatic, giving it a boost in taste, served on rice noodles. This is one hell of an Asian comfort dish.
This Malaysian wonder might not look spicy but don’t be fooled by its looks!
Asian Style Braised Ox Tail
A recipe inspired from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Home Cooking, it is one of my favourite recipes from him. With fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and hoisin sauce this thing definitely does not lack in the flavour department.
Love udon soups then give this one a shot! it’s not just beefy it’s also fishy from the dashi stock.
Yes, there is also a version for curry lovers out there, simmered in coconut milk and spices, all you need is some basmati rice and a good naan to mop all of that wonderful sauce.
Copycat Alley Restaurant Oxtail Soup
Now on to Hawaii where they have this magnificent dish from a bowling alley. Its part Asian, its part American, 100% tasty. With star anise, shiitake, Chinese dried dates, raw peanuts and whiskey, this thing is a beauty.
Jamaican Oxtail Stew
Now let’s have some Caribbean flavours and the best way to experience that is through this stew. Oxtails cooked with butter beans, carrots, peppers, all spice and thyme. This is what Jamaican dreams are made of, totally a great comfort dish.
Still in the Latin American region, let me present you a Cuban oxtail dish prepared with capsicums, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and onions spiced with allspice, nutmeg and chillies cooked until they melt in your mouth
Oxtail Borscht Soup
Yes, the Russians can make good oxtail dish as well, the Oxtail Borscht Soup. Basically a marriage of two great dishes, Borsht and Oxtail Soup.
Coda alla Vaccinara
If you love celery and oxtails then this Roman dish is for you, its main ingredients? You guessed right, oxtails and tons of celery.
In my personal opinion this is the best Italian ragu ever made, do you agree? Just slowly cook your oxtail in tons of tomatoes top it on pasta. Bellissimo! Delizioso! imagine me with Italian hand gestures saying that 🙂
Slowly Braised Oxtail
Finally a simple braised oxtail with parsnip, turnip, carrots, onions and tomatoes. Nothing can go wrong on this one.