Originally Posted by Cooksie
I'm always looking for something new and different to try. I saw some ox tails at the grocery store today. Do you think what they're selling here in Texas are really tails from oxen or might they be tails from cows? And, do you consider ox tails budget food (they weren't cheap) or a delicacy?
TBH, I can`t tell you as I live in the UK. However, Oxtail is a classic stew or casserole or slow cooked dish in the UK. They are the jointed tails from beef cattle. they require to be cooked slowly so a dutch oven or a crock port or a slow cooker is perfect. Season with crushed juniper berries (no more than 4 per jointed tail) and a bit of orange peel, sliced/chopped onions (browned) carrot, celery, garlic, pinch of cloves, red wine and/or port and slow cook.
Alternatively, you could do an orientally spiced dish using freshly grated ginger, garlic, a couple of star anise and a good glug of soy sauce, stock, dash of sherry etc and cook long and slow.
Oxtail pieces exude a large amount of fat whilst they are cooking. So, the best thing you could do is to cook the oxtail the day before you require to eat the dish. Allow to cool, refrigerate and then remove the fat which will rise to the surface. Thicken the liquid, on reheating, if you need to do so by adding slaked cornflour (cornflour blended to a paste with cold water) or adding beurre manié (butter and flour blended) and added in small amounts to the hot sauce, stirring all the time until the desired consistency is reached.
The oxtail meat can be removed form the bones and used in a pie with other beef cuts or in vol-au-vents for a starter or even in ravioli with a touch of horseradish or beetroot and served with sage butter or added to a sauce to use with pasta.
For me, the essential point is to remember that when cooking the meat and bones, they will give off a lot of fat. Cooking in advance enables one to remove the excess fat which does ruin the flavours of the meat and be left with the rich and wonderful flavour of the meat in a gorgeous sauce.
Hope this helps,