Oxtails with Chow Mein Noodles

Narrowsburg, NY is a small, quaint tourist town about 10 miles from Honesdale, Pa.  The town borders a long stretch of the Delaware River, attracting sport fishers, kayak enthusiasts and all manner of people who enjoy water sports.  In addition,  many people from New York City have acquired second and sometimes permanent homes in the town, encouraging restaurants, shops and businesses that cater to a sophisticated clientele.

So why does the one grocery store in Narrowsburg, Pete’s Market, ALWAYS have oxtails?  I’ve never seen them in Honesdale, nor in Scranton.   A frequent visitor to Narrowburg, I have never met nor heard of the odd French person in the town.  Oxtails used to be cheap and eaten mainly by the poor and/or southerners from “Ole Dixie”.  There is a moderate size Indian community in town but I would think they are mostly vegetarians and never beef eaters.  So who besides me, at $5 per lb, is buying oxtails?  I’m glad!  But also curious.  Maybe displaced New Yorkers with a lifetime of exposure to Caribbean cuisine.

I was given this bag of chow mein noodles by my son’s partner, originally from Guyana and of Indian descent.  I, of course, have heard of and eaten chow mein.  It’s practically American.  However, I have never seen Asian noodles labeled chow mein in a bag.  Where have I been? 🙂  I was excited about trying these; they are vegetarian and although no eggs were used in making them, they have a pronounced bright yellow color and cook longer (8-10 minutes) than the Asian noodles I usually buy.  Thanks Tina, good noodles.

Thanks to Abdoulaye, I love using my pressure cooker.  He taught me not to be a scaredy cat and to forgive my father for exploding a pressure cooker with shrapnel flying in front of his 9 year old daughter, a traumatic PTSD experience that Abdoulaye assured me was 1 in a million, caused by inattention, lack of understanding and pressure cooker education.

Meaty, fall-off-the-bone oxtails in a light, flavorful sauce.  “Eating good in the neighborhood.”  😀

Oxtails with Chow Mein Noodles

2 1/2- 3 lbs oxtails

1/4 cup tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

2 shallots, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

8 thin slices of fresh ginger

2 star anise

2 sticks cinnamon

Peel from one orange, cut into strips


Mix the soy sauce, sake, brown sugar and water together and set aside.  Place the oxtails in the bottom of a pressure cooker.  Sprinkle the scallions, shallots, garlic ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks and orange peel over the oxtails.  Pour the soy sauce mixture over all.

Put the top on the pressure cooker and seal well.  Put the little bobble thing over the vent in the middle of the pressure cooker top.  Turn the gas up to high and when the bobble starts to swing back and forth, decrease the heat until the bobble continues a gentle swing. Cook for 35-40 minutes, remove from flame and set aside until the pressure button, located at the top of the handle, sinks completely to the bottom.

Open the pressure cooker and place the oxtails in a platter.  Drain and reserve the liquid in the pressure cooker, discarding the solids.  Boil the liquid down (no top) until it is reduced by half, then pour over the oxtails.



About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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8 Responses to Oxtails with Chow Mein Noodles

  1. Mad Dog says:

    That sounds fantastic – I cooked oxtail this week and wish I had more! I’ll have to try cooking them with Chinese flavours next time. I too can remember when they were cheap at about £2.50 a kilo – they are up to £7.50 here now.

  2. JB says:

    Looks fantastic. As commented previously, love oxtails and my kids do as well. Especially Haitian style.

  3. Stella says:

    Like you I can be a bit twitchy about pressure cookers – in my case it also stems back to my childhood and an incident with a pressure cooker full of red cabbage that basically redecorated my parents’ kitchen in a most spectacular manner.

  4. I think the price of oxtail these days has to do with supply – there’s so little tail compared to the rest of the cow!! I don’t see it often in our wonderful butcher’s shop, but when I do I snap it up. Once there was a smaller package, which turned out to be the tail of a calf – also delicious!!

  5. Daphna101 says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe . I made oxtails yesterday and nope they are not $5.00 /lb but 8.00. Never the less, I got 3 large packages , browsing each piece with seasonings, adding red wine , beef stock and cooking them for hours on end till the gravy was thick and perfumed the whole house . I explain to people that the meat is so rich , yes, good fat and just a delicacy . This time I elected to chill the batch over night, remove the oils and use them to baste carrot, onions, turnips and mushrooms because they couldn’t fit in my crockpot ( the tails were huge). Oh yum.
    Smello vision was needed! Non appetite

  6. Geri says:

    I found that the one time I had oxtails I found it beefy and bony. Since you have had it more than once, would you say I should try it again with this recipe?

  7. simply_ally says:

    Definitely trying this

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