Contrary to what the name implies, oxtails aren’t derived from oxen but cattle. And though it sounds odd that people widely consume the tail region of cows, the reverse is the case. Oxtail originally came from the oxen in the past, and back then, it was considered sustenance not to leave any part of slaughtered animals to waste. But today, the tail region from the typical cow is tagged as oxtail and regarded as a gourmet ingredient in many recipes.
Oxtail is a lean meat with a rich beefy flavor when cooked. And because of its bony content and tough meat, it’s best cooked long and slow. While this technique may seem like hard work for most people, the oven offers the best conditions. And here, you’ll learn the most convenient ways to do it.
Oxtail Nutrition Facts
Tips for Oven-Cooked Oxtail
Baking oxtail in the oven means you can mix the ingredients with the cuts of beef and slide it into the oven. Most oven-cooked oxtail recipes require an average of two and a half hours, but the wait is worth it. Here are things you need to do before you started.
Gather the Ingredients
Make sure everything the recipe requires is on the counter and at arm’s length. Oxtail cooks for an extended period, and you don’t want to skip any ingredient after you’ve slid the baking dish into the preheated oven. Besides the meat, you’ll also need oil, spices, herbs, and seasonings.
Prepare the Oven
You’ll need the oven to be at least 275 to 325°F to cook the oxtails properly. But most times, recipes set the range between 340 to 350°F. The higher the temperature, the quicker the meat would cook. But these temperatures must not be higher, as you need the oxtail to cook slowly, braising in the juices for no less than two hours.
Prepare the Oxtails
Oxtail tends to come with a bit of fat, so you’ll need to trim these off, so the dish isn’t super greasy. Some people prefer to glaze the beef cuts before they toss the container in the oven. Others prefer a light browning in a Dutch oven beforehand.
Any seasoning works with baked oxtails, so it’s really up to you. You can use any combination of powdered spices or spice mix you prefer. You can also add some soy sauce or any other liquid sauce if you want. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, consider using fresh spices and herbs in place of seasoning cubes and powders. Ingredients like cayenne pepper, fresh thyme, parsley, crushed garlic, onions, paprika, and even ginger are viable options.
Cooking the Oxtails
Cover the baking pan with foil once the seasoning has been added, making sure the edges are raised, so they don’t touch the food. Then, cook the oxtails in the oven for at least two hours or more, or until the internal meat temperature reaches 145°F. The broth from the meat creates a moist environment that steams the oxtail deeply, allowing the seasoning to penetrate the beef.
Resting the Oxtails
Once the oxtails are done, let it sit for about three minutes. Resting the oxtail enables the juices to seep back into the beef, making it tender and soft. If you serve the meat too soon, it’ll be chewy and gelatinous.
How to Serve Oven-cooked OxtailPrint
- Black pepper
- Garlic, crushed
- Onions, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Rinse the oxtail cuts thoroughly and place them in a shallow casserole dish. Season generously with salt, pepper, and crushed garlic, and cover the surface with lots of sliced onions.
- Pour in water till it reaches halfway through the oxtails, and cover the dish with foil. Make sure the foil doesn’t touch the meat at the edges.
- Toss the dish in the oven and bake for about two hours until it falls off the bone. If it’s not ready, leave it for another thirty minutes and check. Make sure to add a bit more water if it’s evaporated.
- Once the oxtails are ready, set down and leave to rest for three minutes. Then, separate the pan juices from the meat or serve them together.
Also, check out this fantastic oven-cooked oxtail video recipe for fresh ideas.