Tuesday, January 19, 2010

time to bring out the oxtail

the sun has left the building. and with that the little summer we enjoyed this weekend. it's actually ok. if there's one thing i know for sure, it is that i will get plenty of sun sooner or later. this is, after all, the middle east. but for now we're indoors, listening to the rain and the wind.

good thing is, that this weather calls for some heavy and hearty food, so what better time than this to bring out the oxtail? i love oxtail. for soup or, like here, stew. i was one of those kids. i loved oxtail, liver and heart. and the neck of the chicken or the turkey. in fact my older brother and i would have a ritual fight about who would get the heart and who would get the neck when we had chicken. and my mom would shake her head (and probably be slightly worried about our sanity).

but seriously, oxtail is so tasty and oh so yummy. and i recently had D's mom get me a stash of oxtail for the freezer. and then i was waiting for a day like this. a cold and rainy day.

so, if you're ready to try, this is what you do:

  • braise the oxtail pieces (i had about 1/2 a kilo cut into 4-5 cm pieces) in a heavy pot, then take them out for a moment, while frying a finely chopped onion.
  • add the oxtail again plus 8-10 whole, peeled cloves of garlic, and just about cover the oxtail with water (1/2 liter maybe). add salt, thyme, bay leaves, and - if you like spicy - some chili powder, as well as half a chili pepper finely sliced.
    (i knew the kids would not eat this, if they were i would have left out the chili. the garlic on the other hand is ok. it cooks for such a long time that it becomes mild and not strong at all).
  • leave the oxtail to simmer in the crock pot under heavy lit for three hours.
    if you are to make this into a soup skim some of the fat away before adding extra water (you might want to do this no matter what you are making depending on how much fat was on the oxtail pieces and whether you cleaned them from some of the fat before you started cooking). you could add a bit of port wine too, or chicken/beef/vegetable broth if you like, but i don't think it's necessary.
  • when it's boiling again, add your veggies. i used one little celery root, two carrots, two red onions and a leek. i cut celery and carrots in little cubes, onions in little "boats" and leek cut into one cm slices. cook until carrots and celery are done (approx. 15-20 min).
  • some people would prefer to take out the oxtail and remove the meat from the bones and then add it to the stew/soup again. i like to eat it as finger food with the bones. but it's greasy and nasty, and not recommended if you are to eat this meal with people, who you would like to think of you as a classy lady.

i served it with mashed potato, but it could also go well with rice, and if you make it into a soup, noodles would be good too. i am pretty sure a scoop of sour cream would have made it even more perfect, but that's a matter of taste, i guess.

definitely a meal for cold weather. it's slow cooking, filling the house with a smell of goodness while simmering away. and it warms all the way to the soul.


  1. Your banner made me smile- I love mine! I think of you every time I walk by it. Your veggies in your soup look good. Enjoy! xo

  2. Oxtail makes the best broth for risotto. In Rome there's a big culinary tradition, quinto quarto, which is based on those "lesser" meat parts.

  3. More than a recipe... a way of life ! I like your first picture very much too ! Have a warm day !

  4. i never have eaten oxtailsoup but it looks delicious! i love stews, they're is easy to make and supercosy :-)
    love the chickenneck-and heart story.
    Some time ago my niece told me when she was on vacation with us, she used to compete for the neck too, just because my sister and I were fighting for it, in the end my mom gave the neck to my niece, but she confessed now, 40 years later that she didn't like it at all :-)
    My grandma used to suck on the porkleg she cooked for the soup, it made a terrible noise :-)

    hope you enjoyed your stew Trinch!!

  5. Yes, i agree with Otli... more than a recipe !! I would like to tast it !!!

  6. I'll come with Cabrizette!!
    I love the two pictures:)

  7. I have never had Oxtail, but have always wanted to try it.

  8. that looks delicious!

  9. ha! i have never tried it, but this looks good. i am so not a heart/liver/kidney/neck sort of girl, but i strongly admire those who are. i made a really good simple broth-y soup last night for lunch today, but it would've been even tastier with a bit of lamb slipped in there and simmered slowly until it began to fall apart and meld into the rest. i love this kind of cooking.

  10. hello again,

    i thought it'd be easier if i told you the answer here rather than over at mine. there is. it's what i use now. i fire my plates in a kiln. the paper i buy from a dutch company http://www.sdlprodukties.nl/index.html - it comes in a variety of colours. i really want to be able to print my own designs onto decals though. so if you come across a way of doing that then let me know!

  11. that photo of the steamy window with the banner hanging over it is... stunning. what a great shot...