Braised Oxtails

Did you know that oxtail (cow tail) is $5.99/lb?  I mean, you can buy steak at that price.  It’s true that in France the French have always valued the oxtail as a quality source of meat but here in the States it used to be considered among the least desirable parts of the cow, along with the shins, feet and bones that were usually dirt cheap and used to flavor soups and/or provide a source of protein to low income families or southerners who just eat like that 😀

Raised by southern parents, I eat like that and wanted to make some meaty, succulent oxtails but wanted to get more sauce from them than I usually do.  Searching the internet I found a great sounding recipe that also seemed to make enough sauce.  To my surprise, the recipe was written by one of my Facebook buddies who I consider to be a 5 star cook, Shinae Choi Robinson.  My inspiration today comes from Shinae, yet again.

Even before I approved of the amount of sauce Shinae’s recipe made, I congratulated her on her choice of never fail ingredients; onions, carrots, garlic, celery, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf.  She knows 😀

The temperature fell to below freezing the other day but my herb garden took it in stride except, of course, the no class basil plant which is such a “girlie man” when it comes to anything different.  Dead before Thanksgiving, I’ll wager.

Having browned the first batch of oxtails, I just had to take a picture even under the hood artificial light because they looked good enough to bite but I knew better; you’d have to have filed your teeth into points to chew these 🙂

I bought 3 lbs of large oxtails and 1 lb of the small ends of the tail that I adore.  There’s not much meat on the small ends but I think they’re tastier somehow.

So easy after the browning.  Everything into the pressure cooker for 45 minutes; meat, vegetables and liquids.

I haven’t been “tormented” by the aroma of a cooking pot for a long time but today was one of those days.  The smell was beyond delicious!  Thank you Shinae.

Braise Oxtails

4 lbs trimmed oxtails

Salt and pepper


2 tbsp olive oil

2 tall, whippy thin carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 onions, cut in half then sliced

4-6 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup red wine

Leaves from 5 thyme sprigs

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, dust with flour, than brown on all sides in a large skillet in the olive oil.  Remove the oxtails from the skillet and place inside a pressure cooker.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet, then add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic, sauteing until the vegetables are soft.  Add the wine to the skillet and boil until the liquid is reduced by about a third.  Add the herbs, tomato paste, broth, salt and sugar, bring to a boil, then pour over the oxtails in the pressure cooker.

Secure the pressure cooker lid, top with the bobble, and bring to a boil.  When the bobble starts to swing back and forth, reduce the heat until the bobble maintains a gentle back and forth rhythm.  Continue to cook for 45 minutes, allow the pot to depressurize, open and serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.










About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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20 Responses to Braised Oxtails

  1. Mad Dog says:

    One of my favourites!
    It’s the same price here and used to be cheaper – I blame celebrity chefs banging on about forgotten cuts.

  2. Pinning this! Now I just have to see if I can get oxtail, though hopefully not at $5.99 a pound!

  3. Oxtail is a favorite among Jamaicans. Here in New York it is about $6.49 per lb and you might get it on special at $5.99.

  4. miakouppa says:

    I think I will finally try oxtails…thanks to your post! Looks amazing!

  5. Lovely recipe, I love oxtail but it’s crazy expensive in England now too!

  6. What timing on this post! In the half-priced bin of meats at our grocery, there were oxtails, which I had never seen sold there before. But there were also beef shanks and some lovely little New Zealand lamb loin chops. I bought the latter two, as I didn’t know how to cook the oxtails. But now I do!. I braised the beef shanks last night for dinner, and froze the lamb loin chops for later. (They are half-priced because they are on the last day of their “sell-by” date.

  7. chefkreso says:

    Wow! This actually looks amazing!

  8. Conor Bofin says:

    I think we are as one. I posted oxtail today and did a little search of WordPress for likeminded folk…

  9. Great post. I have been loving oxtails for a long, long time. I always add to my Pot au Feu. I buy them in Chinese butcher shops in the Pacific Northwest where they seem fresher and cheaper. I also use bison ox tails which are even cheaper for some strange reason.

    • Shhh, don’t tell anybody about the bison oxtails. People are probably avoiding them now because they sound odd and are unknown. Let’s keep it among ourselves 😉

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