So, if we were to ask you for a definition of the word oxtail, what would you say? Most would say it is the tail of an ox and strictly speaking you would be correct.
However, in culinary circles oxtail can refer to the tail of an ox or a cow, and for those of you who have never eaten it you are in for a surprise.
First let’s point out some things you need to know. The tail is muscular in nature and also very bony. As such it is necessary to prepare oxtail in a special way or you will not have a great experience. Traditional oxtail meals consist of braising it over a long period of time so that the incredible tastes can slowly be nurtured and not cooked out of the piece before it is ready.
Oxtail is also used in many soups and stews and if you were wondering oxtail is a traditional African meal. Stews are especially matched well with oxtail because of the long cooking process involved and the ability of the oxtail to soak up the surrounding juices.
At Chef Point Café oxtail is marinated in our homemade spicy African red sauce and slowly cooked to perfection, and who better to do the preparation than the Peoples’ Chef, Chef Franson, originally from Nigeria and quite well-schooled in the proper way to prepare oxtail.
You can find oxtail at many boutique butcher shops as it is becoming quite popular in the United States, especially in the Southern states for whatever reason. When you go to buy it you find that oxtail is between two to four pounds. Take it home, cut it into meal-size pieces or chunks if you are going to use it in a stew or soup and then marinate it in your favorite marinade sauce. Recipes abound on the internet if you should need assistance but really one can do quite well if one just considers it as a regular stew meat and prepare accordingly. About the only thing you have to make sure you do is cook it slowly and marinate it before cooking. After that you can experiment if you so choose.
Just as a heads-up. Oxtail will be featured at this March’s Wine & Dine event and lately it has been on our Specials Board if you can’t make it to the Wine & Dine event. Come on in and give it a try; we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.