Braised Ox TailsOften overlooked in the meat case, oxtails have become a more popular choice when cooks are looking for the satisfying flavors of a good, long braise.

Oxtails are not just the tails of oxen. They are, in fact, the tails of beef cattle of all types and they make some of the most delicious braised beef dishes at a more than affordable price. Typically weighing 7 to 8 pounds each, oxtails are cut into shorter chunks of approximately 2 to 3 inches in length for sale.

Ox Tails are a gelatin-rich meat that requires long cooking times at low temperatures to produce tender melt-in-your-mouth meat. The high amount of collagen that is released during these long cooking times produces a rich sauce with deep beef flavors and a silky texture. Perfect when paired with a pillowy mound of mashed potatoes. Oxtails are also the perfect candidate for making beef stock or a nutrient-packed bone broth and if you are an Instant Pot aficionado, cooking oxtails is a snap.

Braised Oxtails Recipe
Adapted from Saveur Magazine
Yields 4 servings

The juices from braising the bone-in beef along with wine and vegetables combine to create a rich gravy.

3 pounds of oxtails, cut into 2-inch-thick cross sections
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1⁄4 teaspoon brown sugar
1-1⁄4 teaspoon jerk seasoning
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup dry red wine
1-1⁄2 cups beef stock

Prepare the oxtails
Dry the oxtails by patting them with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper. Dust the oxtails all over with flour.

Set a Dutch over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the oxtails. Work in batches to avoid crowding. Allow them to cook, turning occasionally until deeply share on all sides (about 15 to 18 minutes).

Transfer the meat to a large platter.

Prepare the vegetables
Do not wash the pan, but rather drain and discard any excess fat. Return the pan to the stove and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not yet colored (about 4–5 minutes).

Add the garlic, brown sugar, jerk seasoning, ginger, bay leaf, anise, cloves, and wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Bring to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced slightly (about 5–7 minutes).

Add the stock and bring it to a simmer. Add the ox tails, cover, and cook while gently stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. Occasionally skim the fat from the top. (total cooking time about 8–9 hours.)

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot over mashed potatoes.

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