Monday, December 10, 2007

Oxtail Stew - A Beef Stew You Can Really Get Behind

This delicious winter stew video recipe, produced for About.com, uses something they call oxtails, but are really just cow tails. Does that make you feel any better? Oxtail stew is probably the most flavorful beef stew possible, as the tail pieces have more connective tissue than just about any other cut of beef you can get, even the shank. This makes for a very satisfying, stick-to-your-ribs (literally, from all the collagen) dish.

Oxtail stew is sort of like eating lobster. Once it's cooked, which takes a looooong time, the meat is very soft and succulent, but nestled in the nooks and crannies of the tailbones. Remember that turkey neck you were sucking on a few weeks ago? It's sort of like that only bigger and more delicious. I won't do any lame "if you're not getting enough tail, try this recipe" jokes. Just watch this clip, and get your tail to the store for some of this delicious beef. I'm sure you'll be very happy with the "end" results. Sorry. Enjoy!
Click here for the transcript and ingredients.

39 comments:

Connie said...

It looks good, but I don't want to eat cow tails. I like how you narrate the videos, you have a great personality.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John was wondering if after we brown the onions and cook the rue could we deglaze the pot and tansfer this to a crockpot?

Chef John said...

yes, definately

Daifoo said...

Chef John, have you ever thought of cooking your stews and soup etc in a pressure cooker? I have one and can't do without it. Those with a 15psi can cook food in 1/4 of the time. Mine only reaches 11.6psi but still cooks in 1/3 of the time. It saves tremendous amount of energy, good for the Earth, no?
Susanna

Chef John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef John said...

no, i've never owned one. i guess i like the aroma therapy of a long simmering pot of stew. but i know theyre faster (ive seen them on iron chef)

besides, if everyone used pressure cookers and saved too much energy my Exxon and Halliburton stocks may lose value! ;)

Uncledee said...

This looks and sounds rustic and absolutely unpretentious. Delicious! Great job Chef John.

Shawn said...

Connie, don't get turned off by the cowtails! My grandma used to make this, and it was so rich, it was unbelievably good. Amazing to know that the richness is from collagen and not from fat. Comfort food well worth the effort. Definitely a dish for a cold winter's day (and I agree with Chef John on the aromatherapy value of stewing it nice and slow).

Jonathan said...

Try this, get some of the stock that you have when the oxtails are done, and mix it with some manioc flour (it has to be manioc) and do like polenta make sure it`s not to hard correct the seasoning and we call this in Brasil pirão you can do it with any stock it`s great

Chef John said...

Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

Looks good. Might try this on the weekend.

Thomas said...

I am going to try this today. I have just bought some oxtails at the local butcher.
By the way, oxtails are appearently very expensive. I had to give around $40 for two pounds, frozen!
They better be good...

Chef John said...

What??!!? $20 a pound! I've never heard of such a thing. Did you get a back rub? Where are you making these? Antarctica? I paid $4.50 a pound. I think your butcher is a butcher.

Anyway, make sure you cook them until they are falling off the bone and you will be rewarded with an incredible stew.

Anonymous said...

Wow! $20.00 a pound for frozen sounds awfully expensive :o)

Chef John, Today is going to be the second time I am making this delicious stew in one week! Your recipe is absolutely amazing. I ate mine with white rice and as soon as I had the first bite I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!!!!!!!!! ;o) It was one of the best food I have ever tasted. As soon as I ran out of the stew I could not stop thinking about it so I went and bought some oxtail again today. I paid $4.99 a pound for fresh ones.

Thank you again for this amazing recipe. It will stay in my collection forever. You Rock!!!!!!!

Happy New Year To You And Your Loved Ones & To Everyone Here.

kevin said...

hello chef.

i made this the other night, and i noticed that the stew didn't have the rich meatiness expected from a "beef" stew. is this as expected? maybe the difference is from using oxtail instead? or the type of beef broth (used pacific)?

ur input would be appreciated. love the site.

Chef John said...

Well, I'm not sure how to answer that. Oxtails actually have much higher amounts of collagen which is what gives soups and stews that sticky goodness. I'm not sure what it was other than your tongue and brain were expecting a beef stew flavor and the oxtails do have a different taste.

Were they cooked completely? Did you buy them out of someone trunk? They should have had a nice,sweet, rich, sticky taste and texture.

Eli said...

I made this recipe a while back I just haven't gotten the chance to tell you about it.
I bought my oxtails from my butcher right up the street. He charged me something like $3/lb
I'm pretty sure this was one of the most rewarding new foods I have tried.
Thanks so much for a great & simple recipe.

Vig said...

Hi Chef,

I made the Oxtail Stew on Saturday. It was wonderful. I had bought the oxtails on clearance in the spring, and they've been waiting in the freezer for a nice cold fall day. It was wonderful.

Thank you!
Vig

Anonymous said...

Hi

I dont have access to a Dutch Oven, could I do this in a stainless steel sausepan ?

Chef John said...

yes, it should work.

CollegeGourmet said...

I was going back through your old recipes (as I do so often when I've got dinner on the mind), and I came across this one. I made it, and although it took a long time to cook, I was rewarded with the best textured stew I've ever eaten. I had no idea how magical oxtails were, in flavor, texture, AND price.
Thanks Chef John!

Mike said...

I've tried this very delicious recipe and it is a great hit with my family. On my 3rd go I tried it with a pressure cooker and was able to cut the 5 hrs.+ 30 to 45 min. + 30. I didn't notice any difference, but in general with the higher temp of a pressure cooker affect taste?

Chef John said...

no, does not affect flavor

felipe said...

I have a question Chef, what are your thoughts on pressure cookers? Here in Brazil we use them a lot for cooking beans and tougher meats. For meats like ox tail, the pressure cooker would probably reduce the cooking time to about an hour or so. Do you think this has any impact on flavour or texture? Thanks!

Chef John said...

i hear they are good, but I've never used one!

Ορέστης said...

I had tears in my eyes the fist time I tried this stew in Sevilla, Spain (Cola del toro)amazingly succulent and tasty. Three years passed until I saw it on your blog and thought I give it a go.

I used a simple pot and five hours on a Saturday morning. The result was almost perfect! I am waiting for a dutch oven I ordered online (it's hard to get one in Greece) for another try.

Thanks chef John, keep up the good work

emmabella212 said...

Hi Chef John, Im looking to invest in a le cruset Dutch oven from william sonoma. I was wonder what size do you use in your kitchen to cook?

Chef John said...

I believe I have the biggest, 9qt? i think

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John. I have been following your video blogs for a long time now. I love your videos. I've tried a few of your recipes and they have all turned out wonderful. If I had a bigger budget I would try them all! I love this oxtail stew by the way. My family thoroughly enjoyed it. You are the best and super funny! (My boyfriend is totally jealous of your cooking skills and the attention that I give your videos. My first post online too!)

Chef John said...

thanks!! why not make him really jealous and tell me your name?

Liz said...

O_O I am in total shock and awe. My post worked! Not only that, but Chef John replied! yay! yay! yay! Did you know that I went through the trouble of making a Google account just to reply to you. ^_~

Chef John said...

I'm very flattered! ;-)

sophaish3 said...

Was skeptical that such simple ingredients could turn put such a delicious stew! am wondering how I can incorporate some red wine into the recipe. What's your advice?

Chef John said...

just throw in a splash after the meat is browned. thanks!

Razors Edge said...

I took advantage of a sale on 7L dutch oven the other day and made this recipe today. I dont understand why ox tail is $5/lb here in canada but it sure tasted good when it was done cooking.

Thanks John !

Emily said...

Chef John, I was thinking of reducing this and serving it over rice. In that case, do you think it would work to just use water instead of beef broth? Or is my whole plan feasible? I am just trying to figure out how to make it more appropriate for a summer meal.

Chef John said...

Yes! That will work. Enjoy!

Jennifer said...

Hi Chef,

How would I thicken the sauce (make it less soupy)? I usually use corn starch (I'm asian), so I'm not used to flour, but everyone says flour is much nicer for things like this.

Thanks!

Andrew said...

Please Chef John, I have a Foodwish.

Vegetable/Vegetarian Stew.
Just a simple savoury hot drink, that's what I wish for.