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How to Prepare & Cook Beef Oxtails

Do you enjoy melt-in-your-mouth oxtail, but you don’t know how to make it? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn how to cook beef oxtails at home on a stovetop or in a slow cooker. But before delving into our tips on how to prepare beef oxtail, let’s quickly explain what beef oxtail is.

What Are Beef Oxtails?

Oxtail, or cow tail, is a delicious cut of beef taken from the cow’s tail, and it’s frequently used in Latin American cuisine.

Oxtail is an excellent source of protein and a good source of iron. It contains a significant amount of bone marrow, making it one of the best cuts for making flavorful stock.

Oxtail takes a long time to cook to break down the fat and tendons and tenderize the meat. You can make the most succulent meat by braising oxtail low and slow in a cooking liquid like beef stock or beer. Besides tenderizing the meat, the slow cooking process will bring out delicious flavors in the oxtail bones and marrow.

You can use tender oxtails to make various recipes, including traditional beef stock and oxtail soups and stews. The meat is also excellent for making modern Hispanic recipes, such as Oxtail Croquettes and Oxtail Tacos.

How Long Does it Take for Oxtails to Get Tender?

A cow’s tail is a busy appendage that constantly swipes back and forth. Due to its constant motion, the tail has strong muscles and cartilage. Fortunately, you can tenderize the meat by boiling or braising it for several hours.

Braising oxtail is strongly recommended because it adds flavor to the stock and the low and slow cook will tenderize the meat and cartilage and bring out flavor from the bones and marrow. Your oxtails should be tender and safe to eat when they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more on how to cook oxtails on the stove, follow the below tips.

Tip #1

The first step when preparing oxtail is to wash the meat by rinsing it under cold water being sure to keep fresh ingredients separate. After washing the oxtails, place the meat on a clean surface used only for raw meat and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Tip #2

After washing and drying your oxtails, being sure to keep fresh ingredients separate from raw ingredients, season your oxtails overnight with salt, pepper, cumin, Mexican oregano, and any other spices you prefer. Place the seasoned oxtails in a covered container and refrigerate overnight to fully absorb the seasonings. If you don’t have enough time for an overnight marinade, you can cook your seasoned meat after two hours in the fridge.

Tip #3

Brown the meat by adding oil to a hot skillet. Put the meat in the oil and sear each side for a couple of minutes.

Browning your oxtails will not cook the meat. Instead, it will enhance its color and aroma by caramelizing its exterior. Browning beef oxtails in a hot skillet before braising will also add rich depth and flavor to the meat.

Tip #4

Use your seasoned oxtail to make a variety of traditional and modern dishes. For instance, you can pair your oxtails with other beef cuts like hind shanks or beef cheek meat to create a classic beef oxtail soup.

Tip #5

A famous South American recipe that uses oxtails is Rabo Encendido. You can make the Cuban oxtail stew by slowly braising meaty oxtails in a robust mix of onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, spices, and red wine.

Simmering the meat for up to four hours should give you fall-off-the-bone tender oxtail meat. You can serve the meat and sauce on steamed white rice. Check out the full Rabo Encendido recipe here.

Tip #6

Another delicious way to enjoy oxtails is in Oxtail Tacos. You can make them by braising browned oxtails and salsa verde in a slow cooker. Once the meat is tender, remove meat from the bone and shred into bite-size pieces. Serve with warm tortillas garnished with an assortment of fresh toppings. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can braise the oxtails on your stovetop.

Make Juicy and Tender Beef Oxtails at Home

That’s everything you need to know about how to cook beef oxtails at home. If you want the best tasting oxtail dish, cook your recipe with fresh, high-quality meat. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far to find premium oxtails.

Click here to find where to buy high-quality beef oxtails from Rumba Meats.