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Substitute for Oxtail

The culinary world can always invent new recipes out of any edible thing, so cooking enthusiasts managed to find a use for the Oxtail. The Oxtail is like any other edible part of an ox and is rich in gelatin and is often used to prepare oxtail soups.

Braised Oxtail produces a rich beef flavored liquid that can add to different recipes. It is a staple in the Italian recipe called coda alla vaccinara. It is also used in different parts of the world like Asia, Africa, the united kingdom, Ireland, Russia, etc. The popularity of this ingredient has grown so much, and it is now expensive to buy and sometimes difficult to find, which is why having a substitute would be helpful. I will be sharing some of these substitutes in this article.

What is Oxtail?

Oxtail is simply the tail of an ox; the tail is skinned and cut into small pieces of meat that are usually added in stews or braised and used as the base liquid for oxtail soups. The Oxtail adopts a rich Umami flavor having rich beef undertones when braised, and does an excellent job of adding that rich beef taste to recipes. No wonder it is used in different canned soups to boost flavors.

The Oxtail usually refers to the tail gotten from the ox, but it is currently used when referring to tails from other cattle. The Oxtail is popular in the oxtail soup, which originated in the united kingdom, but today, this soup has different variations worldwide. The soup is made by combining oxtail stock with sliced vegetables and spices.

The Oxtail is not only a rich-flavored beef broth, but it also contains some health benefits, and its collagen content works well in giving life and nourishment to the skin.

Oxtail Nutrition Facts

Oxtail Nutrition Facts

Oxtail uses in Recipes.

Oxtail is usually slow-cooked, and this allows the flavor to form. The rich stock is being used differently in recipes worldwide to add structure and taste. Oxtail can be added with vegetables to form the popular oxtail soup or incorporated in other recipes. It has become a staple in most cuisines like the Italian coda alla vaccinara. Other recipes containing Oxtail includes:

  • Oxtail Stock
  • Oxtail Soup
  • Oxtail Braised In Guinness
  • Garden Barley Oxtail Soup
  • Coda Alla vaccinara
  • Eastern European Oxtail Barley Soup
  • Crockpot Oxtail Stew
  • Braised Oxtail Soul Food
  • Italian Oxtail Stew (Guazzetto)
  • Oxtail Stew With Beans Recipe
  • Chinese Braised Oxtail
  • Oxtail Sinigang
  • Jamaican oxtail stew
  • Southern smothered Oxtail
  • Kare-Kare

Oxtail Substitutes

Oxtail is rich in gelatin and has a unique beef flavor that improves the taste of dishes. It has been consumed over a long period, and as the popularity of this meat grew, chefs and cooks around the world invented more recipes containing it. Oxtail is now expensive than it used to be, and it may be difficult to find in stores as more people are constantly requesting it. Other meat parts can be substituted for the Oxtail when you’ve run out of it, and they include:

1. Beef Neck Bones

Beef Neck Bones

Beef neck bones share similarities with the Oxtail and can be a good alternative. For example, the beef neck bone has tendons and collages like the Oxtail; it introduces a juicy beef flavor and texture to recipes and pairs well with vegetable dishes, tacos, tortillas, cheese, etc.

The beef neck bone is low in fat and is a cheaper alternative easily located in stores. The beef neck bone can be simmered to incorporate a beef broth into recipes. The exact measurements used for Oxtail in recipes can be used for the beef neck bones.

2. Lamb Neck Bones

Lamb Neck Bones

Lamb neck bones have a rich flavor that can be added to recipes. For example, the lamb neck bone is tough and requires a slow cooking time for the meat to be tender. The lamb neck bone broth can be used in soups, stews, sauces, and any other recipe that requires the Oxtail so long as you don’t mind the lamb flavor.

The lamb neck bones are gelatin-rich with a fatty content like the Oxtail. However, the flavor is strong and different from the beefy oxtail flavor. Lamb neck bones are cheaper than the Oxtail, and they can be substituted for it using the same measurements.

3. Beef Shank

Beef shank

Beef shank is a close substitute for Oxtail as they both have similar flavors and tough texture that requires slow and long cooking. The beef shank is gotten from the legs of a cow. When cut and skinned, they resemble steaks and are usually sold as hind or foreshank.

The beef shank is a cheaper alternative to Oxtail, still producing the rich beefy flavor needed in any recipe. However, the cook can substitute the same quantity of beef shank or broth for Oxtail in any recipe.

4. Lamb Shanks

Lamb Shanks

The lamb shank is another tough part of the lamb from the front or backside of the leg that can be substituted for Oxtail in recipes. It has a thin membrane and a fatty layer, and the membrane is often removed to reduce the tenderness of the meat when cooked.

It can be made into a broth and used as a base for soups; it can also be added to other recipes. The same measurements can be applied when substituting the lamb shank for the Oxtail.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should Oxtail be soaked in water before use?

Oxtail should be washed and soaked in cold water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking so impurities would be properly removed.

How long should Oxtail sit in the oven?

Oxtail can be baked for 2 hours 45 minutes on a 325 F.

How long would it take for oxtails to be properly cooked?

Oxtails are usually simmered to harness the flavors, so it may take up to 3 hours or more depending on the method used in cooking them.


Cooking enthusiasts use Oxtail for its rich beefy flavors, and it is used to improve the taste and texture of dishes. An easy substitute can help you finish your recipes without stress when you’re all out of this ingredient.

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