I’m truly delighted that nowadays when you mention oxtail, not everyone will cringe or shrink back in revulsion. How about you? What do you picture when you hear oxtail? Does it look like this:
I happen to love the oxtail as a stewed meat. It’s bone, cartilage, and bits of fat releases an amazing flavor slow cooked.
Recently I decided to steal a page from the classic French boeuf bourguignon and use oxtail instead of lean beef. Instead of using flour to thicken the sauce, I let the lid of my dutch oven open slightly, lowered the heat and increased the cooking time. Thus, it too can be part of the keto diet. No flour. No sugar. Still pretty delicious.
One 6-ounce slices of bacon (apple prefer apple wood smoked)
3 pounds oxtail
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
3 cups red wine. I use whatever I have on hand
1/4 cup cognac
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock (Can be made yourself ahead of time)
4 cloves mashed garlic
2-3 sprigs of thyme
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
2-3 sprigs of flat parsley
1 bay leaf
half a stalk of celery
18 to 24 pearl onions
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
I highly recommend dicing all the veggies before hand. Tie the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, parsley and celery with kitchen twine in a bouquet garni. Set aside.
Sizzle and brown bacon in a dutch oven. Let the fat render out. Take the bacon out and set aside. Brown each piece of oxtail, sprinkled with salt and pepper
until all the pieces of oxtail are brown. Put it aside with the bacon.
Toss in diced onions and garlic and sprinkle lightly with salt. Fry until soft and aromatic. Add cognac. Let it boil off, scraping the side and bottom of the pot.
Slowly add in wine and beef stock. Toss in bouquet garni. I left a bit of string on one end to tie around the handle. It makes for easier removal later.
Now add in oxtail and bacon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook, covered for 2 + hours. I leave a bit of the lid ajar to let out steam and ensure
the sauce thickens. When the beef is tender and falling off the bone it’s ready.
30-45 minutes before serving, heat butter in a large skillet, then toss in the mushrooms, onions, and carrots. Cook until there’s a bit of brown to the carrots. Pour everything into the dutch oven and cook till ready to serve.