I’ve yet to find a meat lover who doesn’t love Oxtail. There’s something about that sticky, savoury and somewhat sweetish taste. The supermarkets have realised this and have priced oxtail so insanely high it makes one want to weep. If you can, I suggest you buy oxtail from a butchery, it will be much cheaper than the retail stores.
I know its a silly question but I always get asked it by people, surprisingly. “What is oxtail”, well back in the day it was actually the tail off an ox (a much larger and more robust version of a cow) but these days its simply the cut up tail of an ordinary cow…hence they being so much smaller than what I remember them being as a child. A tail of an animal is full of cartilage and when cartilage is cooked for a long time it breaks down into a gelatinous consistency…hence oxtail becoming sticky once cooked.
This recipe is a twist on a recipe we used to serve at The Westcliff hotel 3 years ago. I loved it so much its how i try make oxtail every time now. the recipe asks for lemon grass, please try and find some, it does make a difference. Also try use treacle sugar (that thick dark brown, sticky sugar) and REAL beef stock, not stock cubes. Trust me, you’ll know why when you sit down to enjoy it.
- 5kg oxtail
- 30g star anise
- 10g cloves
- 10g rosemary
- 10g thyme
- 200g lemon grass (crushed)
- 100g Ginger
- 50g chili
- 250ml veg oil
- 500ml rice wine (if you cant find any then vodka will do)
- 2litre beef stock
- 250ml soy sauce
- 250g brown treacle sugar
- 500g shiitake mushrooms (if you cant find any brown mushrooms will do)
- 200g lime zest
- Heat a deep pot and pour the oil into it. Once hot throw in the oxtail
- Add the rice wine and allow it to simmer for a few minutes in order to burn off the alcohol. Wait until it reduces to a thick syrup
- Throw in the mushrooms and the rest of the ingredients besides the stock. Stir in with the meat and allow to brown a bit
- Pour in the stock and reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 3 hours. With a ladle scoop off the fat and scum that will bubble to the surface every half hour.
- If the stock reduces too much add more stock.
Tip: I’ve found that this recipe tastes better the next day after it has rested in a fridge. If you’re not in a rush to jump in, i recommend you store in for a day before its served.