My Communal Table

Oxtail Ragu
July 22, 2010, 3:09 pm
Filed under: Budget Meals, Main Entree | Tags: , , , , ,

I can hear it now…”Oxtail, what? Are you serious? I would never cook a tail from a cow, let alone eat some of it.” Oxtail is something that I never had growing up and was not exposed to much, but in my travels I have been fortunate to have this succulent slow braised meat in several ways. Whether is it in soup in Asian or in a spicy sauce in Africa, I loved it.

So I was on a mission to make own oxtail recipe. First, I searched for a good price. Since there is only one tail per animal ,sometimes an oxtail can be a bit expensive. The bones add flavor to whatever sauce or broth you cook it in, but there is not a lot of meat. I have not seen them fresh anywhere, only frozen, but I found the best price and the best quality at my local market directly from the farmer. One tail cut up in about 2 inch pieces weighed about 2.6lbs.

I cooked the oxtails a long time in tomato sauce making a sumptuous sauce that I could use in several different ways. The red wine and raisins added another demension to the flavor level. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make this sauce. This recipe makes a large amount. I use a wide noodle for the sauce, then I usually put a piece of oxtail on top of the pasta. Sprinkling the top with some pine nuts and parsley give it another flavor component. The extra sauce is placed in freezer bags and used in different recipes later. Such as eggplant or lasagna.

Serves approx. 5 qts

1 oxtail, cut in 2 in. pieces, approx. 2.5lbs.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 gloves of garlic
3 26oz. tomato puree
2 cups red wine
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon creole seasoning
bunches oregano & sage, fresh, tied up
salt & pepper, to taste
pine nuts, toasted
parsley, finely chopped

1.In stock pot, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Sear oxtails until brown.

2.Add onion, garlic, tomato puree, red wine and raisins. Turn down to a low burner.

3.Add creole seasoning and fresh oregano and sage. A little more oregano then sage in that bunch. Simmer for hours. I usually simmer for it about 3-4 hours. Stir occasionally.

4.Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve sauce with a wide noodle and I usually put one tail-piece on the plate as well. You will know when it is throughly cooked when the meat is easy to remove from the bone.

5.Top with pine nuts and parsley right before serving.

I hope that you take the time to experiment with different types of meat. It is so worth it. Let me know how it turns out.

Pull up a chair, Elizabeth


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love the sweetness of the raisins.

Is there any other braising cut of meat that you would recommend if oxtail is hard to find?

Comment by Liz Simpkin

They aren’t hard to find. Jewel always has them. You could use Chuck roast. That would be my next choice and with the cost of Oxtails I would probably opt for that. But I love Oxtails! And there is more meat on them than it looks. They are a great treat with all that marrow. I love putting them in the slow cooker all day with some Porcini, pearl onions and small potatoes. The ragu recipe raisins sounds wonderful here though and I think I’ll try this.

Comment by Jed Gibbons

Jed and Liz, I have been thinking all day about a substitute for the oxtails. Chuck roast is probably the best one, but the marrow of the oxtail make it so succulent. This is why the wine and the raisins work so well in it, I think. It balances the marrow. I was also thinking about the veal breast with that big bone, but not enough marrow. Well, I love discussing options and love all the feedback, Thanks you two.

Jed, I am definitely trying the oxtail with porcini’s in the crock pot. I have some porcini dried that I bet I could use.

Comment by behindthechair

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