How to Cook Oxtail

Oxtails are common in British and Asian cuisine [source: Blumenthal, The Washington Post]. Because the meat is particularly tough, its flavors are best featured in slow cooking methods, such as braising and stewing [source: Blumenthal]. Read the tips listed below and learn about how to cook oxtail.

  • Soup stock One of the most famous Vietnamese dishes is pho, a fresh and hearty soup with noodles, meat and vegetables. Though oxtail is not the prominent meat in the soup, it's a necessary ingredient that adds depth and flavor to the robust stock. Simply heat up the anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a small skillet. Broil fresh ginger and onions. Place all the ingredients in a stockpot with 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) of oxtail, 5 quarts (4.7 liters) of water and some sliced scallions. Allow all the ingredients to simmer for approximately 2 ½ hours. You'll have a broth that packs flavor into every spoonful [source: Martha Stewart].
  • Braised oxtail Cooking oxtail slowly in red wine will develop a deep and delicious flavor. For braised oxtail, start by frying flour covered oxtails in a hot and oiled casserole dish over medium heat. Remove them from the fire and fry carrots, onions and celery in the same cooking oil. Return the oxtails to the dish and add half a bottle of red wine, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, some grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the pot to a boil and then let it simmer on a low heat for 2 ½ to three hours. For extra richness, take the tails out and stir in a tablespoon each of flour and butter to the sauce reduction. Serve the dish with mashed potatoes and of course, red wine [source: Kamenetzky].
  • Oxtail stew A perfect dish for a cold winter night is oxtail stew. Boil oxtails, garlic, gravy and onions in a stockpot of water for about two hours, until the meat falls off the bones. Add slices of lima beans and scallions for a colorful and hearty dish. For a spicy stew, add hot sauce, paprika and red pepper flakes. Allow the mixture to simmer for another two hours. The robust flavors and tender meat will have you forgetting the weather outdoors [source: Anderson].