Oxtails are the tail of the cow. They may not be a cut of beef you’d normally think to use, but if you skip oxtails, you’re really missing out—they make wonderful soups and stews. If you have difficulty finding oxtails in your locale, you can substitute meaty veal or beef neck, short rib, shank, or other various soup bones, but don’t expect quite as robust a flavor. As with any recipe, feel free to modify these to meet the needs and tastes of your own family. Let’s check it out!
Country Oxtails Dinner
This recipe which combines oxtails, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and vegetables makes for a delicious family meal. You’ll want to prepare the oxtail the night before but also allow time before dinner to add vegetables to the dish. Plan this meal a day in advance so you can cook the oxtails and get rid of the fat before cooking with the vegetables. Crusty bread is a welcome addition to soak up the rich gravy.
Garden Barley Oxtail Soup
Garden barley oxtail soup is comfort food at its absolute best. You’ll start this soup in the slow cooker (which helps to make the meat more tender) and then finish cooking it on the stove. Plan on at least a full day for this to cook … but it will be completely worth it. Feel free to use your favorite vegetables and give the soup a liberal dose of freshly ground black pepper for a little kick.
Eastern European Oxtail Barley Soup
Here’s another version of oxtail barley soup, this one heralding from eastern Europe. It’s similar to the slow cooker recipe above, but includes fewer vegetables and takes less time to make. You can taste the boundaries of Eastern European countries and can be found in most kitchens.
Crockpot Oxtail Stew
The prep time for this hearty crockpot/slow cooker oxtail stew is literally about 15 minutes, so if you allow a bit of extra time in the morning, you can add all the ingredients to the crockpot and have stew for dinner that night. The combination of red wine, beef broth, and tomato sauce makes for a savory and flavorful oxtail stew.
Braised Oxtails Soul Food
Combining braised oxtails with carrots, parsnips, and turnips make for delicious soul food. Serve this recipe with rice or with mashed potatoes. This oxtail recipe will be an eye-opener for those who have never eaten them before. While the sauce and meat are usually spooned over rice, it can also be served with mashed potatoes.
Italian Oxtail Stew (Guazzetto)
Guazzetto means “splashed with wine” in Italian, and this stew does include a healthy dose of red wine. Italian oxtail stew traditionally is served over pasta (although mashed potatoes, polenta, or even cubes of bread will do in a pinch).
Simply put, the oxtail tastes like beef, and when cooked, creates a deeply rich flavor. Oxtail is a good source of protein and iron. To get the most benefits of eating oxtail, include a variety of healthy vegetables in the recipe.