A well-exercised muscle, marbled with fat. The segments are vertebrae so they have lots of iron-rich marrow.
What to look for when buying oxtail
Choose large, fat tails which have plenty of meat on them. The meat should be dark red colour and fat creamy white.
Best Cooking Method
Best suited to moist low, slow method softens the connective tissue and tenderises the cut while releasing a rich flavour.
6 cups good quality beef broth or stock
100g unsalted butter
1 ¼ kg brown onions, peeled and thinly sliced
¾ cup dry white wine
2 tbsp plain flour
2 dried bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a heavy-based casserole pot over medium heat. When it starts to foam, add onions and stir to coat.
Cook for 30 minutes stirring every few minutes, until the onions have softened and are semi-transparent.
Increase heat to medium, add salt and cook for a further 20 – 30 minutes, stirring more regularly, until onions are deep golden and sweet.
Add wine, then simmer rapidly for 2 minutes until mostly evaporated, stirring to scrape the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle flour over the onion and cook for 1 minute.
Lower heat to a gentle simmer, add broth, thyme and bay leaves, cover, lower heat so it’s simmering gently then simmer for 30 minutes.
1kg Beef Oxtail
1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cups dry red wine
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely minced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 140C
Heat oil in a large heavy-based casserole pot over high heat until shimmering. Cook oxtail in batches until well browned on both sides, transfer to a large plate and set aside.
Add onion, carrot, and celery to pot, stirring and scraping browned bits from the bottom, until vegetables are well-browned. Stir in tomato paste until vegetables are coated. Add wine and cook, again stirring to scrape the bottom of the pot. Simmer until reduced by half. Add chicken stock and bay leaves. Return oxtails to pot, bring to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and transfer to the oven.
Cook until oxtail meat comes easily off the bone. Approximately 4 hours.
Using tongs, transfer oxtails to a large bowl. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a med saucepan. Discard solids. Place saucepan over med heat and simmer the stock until reduced to about ¾ cup.
Remove oxtail meat from bones and shred with fingers or two forks. Return meat to stock as it simmers. The finished stock/oxtail mixture should be very thick and sticky.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle French Onion Soup into a bowl, place a generous amount of shredded oxtail in the middle and sprinkle with parsley.