Here it is, springtime, and I am making stew! But what can I say? This oxtail stew is rich in gut-healing collagen and tastes amazing. The flavors from the allspice, thyme, and ginger marry beautifully together in the flavorful broth that is naturally thickened by the slow-cooked oxtails. Think of this as beef stew, with benefits. Basic beef stew is delicious, but I’m all for using less common cuts of meat than the standard stew meat, and for getting the bonus of the healing broth.
Oxtail is the culinary term for the tail of cattle, and there are integrations of it in many cultures (oxtail is the main ingredient of the Italian dish coda alla vaccinara (a classic of Roman cuisine), it is a popular flavor for powdered, instant and pre-made canned soups in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and oxtails are also one of the popular bases for Russian aspic appetizer dishes). However, if you’ve never cooked oxtails before, this just might be the recipe for you. Despite the fact that it takes time and patience to prepare, oxtail can be straightforward and is entirely worth the effort.
- 2 lbs oxtails
- 2-4 potatoes
- 2-4 carrots
- 5 celery stalks
- 1 onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1 litre beef bone broth
- 3 tbsp avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, or other neutral-tasting oil (with a high smoke point)
- Heat three tablespoons of avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, or other neutral-tasting oil (with a high smoke point) in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches if needed, brown on all sides (approximately 10-15 minutes total). Transfer the browned oxtail to a plate and set aside.
- Roughly chop the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion. Add to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Mince or press the garlic, and add to the pot along with the thyme, ginger, allspice, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for half a minute or so until very fragrant.
- Load the browned oxtails into a slow-cooker, then transfer the vegetables from the pot and add them on top. Pour the broth in, then cook for 8-10 hours on low.
- Shred the meat off of the oxtail bone with forks, and serve the stew warm with more fresh thyme.