Ox Tail is not something that appears on the average dinning table these days but it is something I remember eating as a kid, probably because like us back then my family raised our own meat.
Oxtail is full of gelatin (so is extremely good for you) which cook out during a long slow cooking leaving a delicious, tender and unctuous (yes that is a word - my favorite word to describe food that is delicious, succulent, luscious, rich, decadent and has slightly oily mouth feel).
You can buy oxtail from most supermarkets where it is likely to already be cut into segments but if it comes from the butcher it might only be partially segmented like in the picture below, or they might only sell the bits from the thick end. It is very easy to cut through as you can feel where the tail naturally segment. Oxtail is not an expensive cut but since some of what you pay for is bone it is not the cheapest either but I think it is worth having every so often for all of the health benefits.
This is a Burmese style curry, that like a vindaloo contains vinegar, and is really very easy as it is a one pot wonder when it comes to the cooking. Marinate the meat for at least 3 hours, I like to do this bit at breakfast and it takes 3 hours to cook so don't forget to get it on at afternoon tea time.
Ox Tail Curry
2 whole oxtails or 1.2 kg approx (cut into 4- 6 cm pieces)
2 1/2 Tsp Mustard Powder
3 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Ground Turmeric
125 ml White Vinegar
1 Tbs Castor Sugar
2 Tbs oil, tallow or lard (I use beef tallow as we have lots of it)
3 Large Onions diced
6 Cloves of crushed garlic
2 Tbs Grated Fresh Ginger
2 tsp Chilli Powder
1 Litre of Beef Stock
Mix together the mustard powder, cumin, turmeric and vinegar add the oxtail and toss to coat then set aside in the fridge to marinate.
In a large heavy based pot heat the oil/tallow over a medium heat and add your diced onions and cook stirring regularly until they are soft and translucent but not browned too much and then add the ginger and chilli powder and stir for 1 minute before removing the onion mix from the pan and place in a bowl. Add your crushed garlic to the hot onions and leave to the side.
Place the oxtail into the pot and brown the pieces all over saving the marinade.
Once the oxtail is browned add left over marinade and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half.
Then add all of the onion mix back into the pot along with the beef stock cover and cook for 3 hours at a gentle simmer.
Remove the lid and cook over a high heat for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by 1/3.
Serve with plain rice and a garnish of fresh chilli if you like it hot.
What unusual cuts do you like to eat?
Do you like ox tail?