You should already be a true lover of oxtail to undertake this recipe.
It's labor-intensive and time-consuming, but results in a succulent Sunday supper of pure
oxtail meat without all the grease and bones that oxtail dishes are usually associated
For this dish to be ready by Sunday evening, you must start on Saturday. Cooking
is a 5-step process. The oxtail is slowly braised, then chilled so you can
degrease it. After degreasing, it's reheated so you can easily separate the flakes of meat
from the bone and gelatinous tissue surrounding the meat. The meat is then mixed with a
reduced tomato coulis and seasonings, pressed into individual molds and baked for 20
Yes, it's a lot of work! But it is well worth the effort for those who crave the taste
of oxtail, but don't want to mess with the bones and gelatinous tissue at the dinner
- Remove the oxtail from the broth. Discard the cooking vegetables and thoroughly chill
the meat and the broth separately (overnight is best).
- Remove the chilled layer of grease which has formed on the surface of the broth and set
aside the degreased broth until ready to use later in the recipe.
- Pick off as much congealed grease as you can from around the chilled meat.
- Reheat the meat just enough to make it supple (about 10 minutes in a 325° oven) and
while it is still warm, separate the meat flakes from the bone and surrounding gelatinous
tissue. Discard this waste, reserving the clean oxtail meat.
- Roughly chop the oxtail meat and mix it with the reduced tomato
coulis, 1/3 cup of broth, 2-3 cloves chopped garlic and 2 TBS
(At this point, you could also add vegetables to lighten the meat preparation. Add
partially cooked carrot slices, chopped celery, seeded and skinned red or green peppers,
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix thoroughly and press the mixture into individual serving size molds.
- Bake in a 375° oven for about 20 minutes.
- Run a sharp knife around the edge of the mold and invert it onto warm serving plates.
(Because bouillabaisse bowls have slightly curved bottoms, they work only if you put the
oxtail patty in the center of the bowl and build vegetables around it. Otherwise, a flat
plate is more suitable.)
- We served this with roasted asparagus and roasted baby carrots. The asparagus was napped
with balsamic vinegar and grated parmesan cheese after roasting. The vinegar in the oxtail
patty nicely echoes the balsamic on the asparagus.
- Oxtail: An oxtail is usually pre-cut by the
butcher into 3/4 " pieces, cutting between each knuckle in the tail. One oxtail, when
fully cleaned according to this recipe, serves 2 people with a little left over.
- Herbs: Don't chop the herbs. Add them as whole
stalks so they can be easily removed after cooking.
- Tomato coulis: Start with 2 medium-sized
tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped. In a saucepan, reduce them with 2 TBS red
wine (or fruit vinegar). Reduce to about 4 TBS. Adding vinegar to the coulis helps to
reduce the fatty taste of the oxtail meat.
- Broth: Freeze the remaining broth in small
containers. The broth can be used as a base for sauces and to enhance soups -- basically
in any recipe where you would use a fond blanc (a gelatinous broth made from veal
bones and calves hooves).
- Molds: I use round metal molds 4" in diameter
and 1.25" high. The quantity meat from one oxtail should yield 3 molds of this size.
If you don't have small molds for baking, you could probably make hand-shaped patties and
brown them in a frying pan.