These used to be actually from oxen, but in today’s market beef or veal is used. This cut of meat is similar to beef shank (the lower leg of a cow) but has less meat. The tail is good for soups, while the shanks are better for braising and serving as the main meat dish.
Beef shanks have much less cartilage and tendon than oxtail so you won’t get as much gelatin, but will get more meat. The shanks come from the lower leg (between the knee and the foot) of the cow. If you get pieces that are lower down the leg, you’ll get more tendon but less meat. But a better amount of meat than oxtail.
Tails are usually cut at about 1-1/2 inch pieces. Beef shanks are usually about 2 inches thick.
- Six ox tail segments
- 1 C flour – seasoned with salt and pepper
- Red wine
STEP BY STEP
- Season your ox tail segments very generously with salt and pepper.
- Coat all sides with your seasoned flour
- Put into braising pan with 2 TBL hot canola or safflower oil.
- Fry until you get a good caramelization on the meat – about 15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 275º
- Add 1 C beef stock to your braising pan
- Add 1/2 C red wine
- Add water to come halfway up
- Cover and put into oven
- Let cook for about 3 hours
- Remove meat and set aside on plate
- Pour the liquid into a large measuring cup
- Let rest ten minutes
- Use a mixing spoon to scoop off the fat and put into an old jar. DO NOT pour down your sink or you will have an expensive repair down the line. Let the fat cool slightly, and then pour into empty milk container or something else with a secure lid. Discard.
- Place the meat back in the braising pan, and add the stock back into the pan.
- Sprinkle with chopped watercress and bring back up to a simmer
- You can use some of the juice as an au-jus or use it as a base for gravy to be used with mashed potatoes.
- Serve your oxtail with risotto, noodles, steamed rice, potatoes, or make it all into a nice hearty oxtail soup by adding potatoes, onion, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and cabbage.
- Add more water if required.
- Let simmer until veggies are fully cooked (about 15 minutes)