Oxtail has a rich, meaty flavour that adds a unique taste to warming winter stews and soups. It has a fairly large amount of creamy fat covering the rich dark red meat and about an even proportion of meat to bone. Oxtail requires a long moist method of cooking such as stewing. One whole oxtail will serve 3-4 people. Ready-cut chunks of oxtail are available from the Meat Service Counter at Waitrose.
Uses: Oxtail can be cooked with a variety of ingredients such as onions, root vegetables and stock or wine to make a rich stew. One of the most well-known oxtail dishes is the classic, richly-flavoured, dark brown oxtail soup. A popular ingredient in Asia, oxtail also combines well with flavourings such as lemon grass, tamarind and chillies.
To store: Keep in the fridge in the original wrapping or in a covered container, below and away from cooked foods and any ready to eat food. Store until the use by date. Wash work surfaces, chopping boards, utensils and hands thoroughly after touching raw meat.
To prepare: Remove all packaging. Soak the oxtail in cold water for 1 hour. Place in a pan of fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. By soaking and blanching the oxtail before cooking any impurities are removed.
To cook: Oxtail requires long, slow cooking to produce tender, succulent meat. It should be cooked for a minimum of 3 hours for the best results. Refer to your chosen recipe for detailed instructions.