Stewed oxtail is a labor of love for me, and I hope it will be the same for you too. You will need lots of time and patience to complete this recipe, but the final result is worth every minute spent.

 

Stewed Oxtail by Diverse Dinners

 

This recipe may seem a little complex, but it’s not, it’s just a process that takes some time. The process is this:

  • remove excess fat and sinew
  • brown the meat
  • stew and simmer
  • add to, or adjust flavor
  • stew and simmer
  • add to, or adjust flavor
  • stew and simmer

Basically, you need free time on your calendar. I usually cook a pot of stewed oxtail on laundry day, or on a day when I have a lot of chores to complete that confine me to my apartment.

A pressure cooker would halve the time needed to cook oxtail, but this is a recipe for those of you who don’t have a pressure cooker but want to enjoy a tasty plate of stewed oxtail. 

 

 

Stewed Oxtail by Diverse Dinners

 

The first step, remove the excess fat and sinew, is an important one. Oxtail is quite fatty and the fat can be tough to remove. My brother taught me this trick of blanching the pieces of meat first. It’s a very effective process, and I’m so glad he shared it with me.

After browning the meat, all that is required is to allow the oxtail to cook. You just need to keep an eye on the process and adjust flavors as required.

 

Stewed Oxtail by Diverse Dinners

 

The co-star to this stewed oxtail recipe is the carrots. I used 1 lb of baby carrots, which are added at the outset and stewed along with the oxtail. This gives a sweetness that runs through this dish, and is vital to the layering of the flavors.

Stewed oxtail is a wonderfully comforting dish. If you’ve never experienced bone sucking before, prepare yourself for a new experience!

 

Serves 4

Stewed Oxtail

30 minPrep Time

6 hr, 15 Cook Time

6 hr, 45 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 5 lb oxtail (cut into approx. 1 - 1 1/2 inch slices)
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onions (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb baby carrots (cut in half lengthways) or regular carrots (cut into 3 inch batons)
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 scotch bonnet chilies (sliced - include seeds)
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups of water
  • Additional salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 cup scallions (sliced)
  • Equipment & Utensils
  • Large stock pot
  • Large bowl

Instructions

  1. Rinse oxtail pieces and then place in stock pot and cover oxtail with water.
  2. Place on high heat and before the the water begins to bubble remove the pot from the heat and cover.
  3. Allow meat to sit in the warm water for approx. five minutes, then drain. 
  4. Fill a large bowl with cold water and set aside.
  5. With a sharpe knife cut away at the fat and sinew on each piece of meat as much as you can without losing any meat, then place it in the bowl of cold water.
  6. Once you have removed as much fat and sinew you can and all of the oxtail is in the bowl with water, replace the water with some more cold water to stop the cooking process.
  7. Allow oxtail to sit for 1 minute, then drain and pat dry.
  8. Dry the stock pot then heat oil in stock pot.
  9. Add 2 cups of onions and the garlic and saute until the flavors release.
  10. Add sugar, mix with onions and garlic, then add oxtail pieces.
  11. Stir meat to brown all of the meat. Lower heat if needed to avoid burning onions and garlic.
  12. Once oxtail pieces are browned lower heat to low.
  13. Add, carrots, thyme, allspice, tomato puree, scotch bonnet and salt and pepper, then add 4 cups of water on top.
  14. Mix ingredients up thoroughly, then cover and allow to cook slowly for 2 hours.
  15. Check on cooking process regularly to ensure the oxtail is bubbling very slowly to avoid drying out.
  16. After 2 hours the flavors will begin to combine, stir ingredients then taste to make sure you're on the right track.
  17. Add 1/2 cup onions and stir once more.
  18. Cover and continue to cook for 2 hours, checking regularly.
  19. After another 2 hours, remove thyme stalks and discard.
  20. Add 2 cups of water and stir thoroughly.
  21. Add salt and pepper as needed to balance flavors, then add scallions.
  22. Stir once more, then cover and allow to cook for a further 2 hours.
  23. Serve when the meat is tender and begins to fall away from the bone.
  24. You can garnish with some chopped parsley or sliced scallion

Notes

The blanching process is also effective in removing the bone dust that often coats the meat after being mechanically sliced. A good reason not to skip this process.

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