LOOKING for: Old fashion Oxtail Stew

eileenlaunonenSeptember 8, 2007

back in the 50/60's my irish Grandmother was known for her Oxtail Stew...Today at a family gathering they were remincing about this stew...wishing she would have wrote it down. I wonder if someone has a T&T old fashion recipe that they could share as Id like to surprise the family members thanks

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CA Kate

I've made this for my family for years. I've made it in a pressure cooker and in the oven and on top of the stove.... depending on how much time I had to watch it, and when I needed it done, and what else was going on with the oven. (In the oven in heavy Dutch Oven or roasting pan preferred. )

In the Fall and Winter are the best times to find these. You need to look for ones that have a greater meat ratio then fat. They usually come in a package with one cut-up tail, so the pieces are each one joint (they are part of the spine) biggest to smallest. I always figure how many people I'm feeding to estimate how many meat/bone pieces and vegetables I'll be needing.

I dust the pieces with flour and brown in fat/oil, turning until all sides are nicely browned. You'll need to do this just a few at a time because you don't want to crowd them or they won't brown properly. Remove from pan and set aside.

I cut up a big onion, several carrots, and celery into chunks.... however much you want... per tail.

Add vegetables to pan after removing meat, and "sweat" the vegetables until onions are semi-cooked and glossy-looking. Add meat back into pan.... or whatever pan is appropriate to how you're cooking it; ei: pressure cooker, roasting pan, or stovetop cooker. I usually do this in the pan I'm going to cook them in so I get all that nice brown stuff off the bottom too.

Add good beef broth... maybe 2 cups per tail.
salt and pepper
and a Bay Leaf.

If pressure cooking: 1/2 hour + for a tail, more if more meat. ( I personally don't like pressure cooked meat; I don't think the flavors develop as well.) If doing on top of the stove or 300ºF oven it will take 3-4 hours of roasting/cooking with some stirring for stove-top so it doesn't burn. You'll need to watch the liquid in both of these so they don't cook-dry.

The meat is done when the meat is loose on the bone.

I serve this over thick noodles, rice, etc. in a wide soup bowl.

* You will need about 4 bones per person, giving each adult: 1 big, 2 middle and one or two of the smaller bones.
* This is very rich.
* Too many carrots will make the stew sweet.
* You will need a good Syrah or Zinfandel or Ale to drink with it.
* We pick-up the smaller bones to eat with fingers... actually... even the bigger ones, but someone who is very dexterous with a steak knife can probably manage too.
* Sliced/diced steamed green cabbage can be served along-side; or actually laid on top of the stew the last few minutes to cook. (I dislike over-cooked cabbage.)

I hope this helps even tho' it isn't a precise recipe.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:37PM
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FANTASTIC.........THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 6:15PM
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I've also made this for eons and my mother and gramma before me. One of my (and H's) fave winter meals but a touch different than Westerelle's recipe.

Basically the same recipe except:
No Celery or Carrotts.
Lots of sliced onion - more than one large unless creating for a very small crowd/family.
Brown the tails as above but with thyme, rosemary and garlic in the flour mix.
After browning add the sliced onion overtop and then water (no broth necessary IMHO) to cover meat.
Cook at 300 degrees for 2 hours approx.
Peel and quarter old (Idaho type) potatoes and add to pot, then cook for another 30-45 mins.
Serve with steamed fresh green beans & freshly baked rolls.
Major comfort food at my house on a cold & rainy winter day!
Just another option for you. :-))

Westerelle - I didn't know they were 'spine bones'! I actually thought they were what they were called -- tail bones! Thanks for the heads up. :-))

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:50PM
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CA Kate

It is the tail of a steer. The tail is an extension of the spine so the big bones look very much like spine bones while the smallest ones look almost like a finger bone. I originally mentioned this because some people have gotten freaked-out by how they look.... and I don't "pick the meat" before serving.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Hi Eileen!!!

My version is similar to Westelle's except I prefer using chicken stock or broth to round out the flavors.

A bunch of herbs is also nice (basically I give them the same treatment I would give short ribs) and serve with mashed potatoes, celery root, or noodles.

I love my All Clad braiser for this dish and cook it up covered in the oven.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 12:06AM
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Hey Sue nice to see you posting...where ya been????

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:44PM
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