What Is Beef Oxtail?

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What is Beef Oxtail and, how is it used and what does Oxtail taste like? There are so many different cuts of beef including Oxtail meat but how should it be cooked?

In this article, we’ll share all about beef oxtail, it’s flavor profile, cooking methods, and the best techniques for cooking Oxtail meat.

What Is Beef Oxtail

What Is Beef Oxtail Made Of?

Beef Oxtail is a unique cut of meat that, as the name suggests, comes from the tail of beef cattle.

It is an integral part of the beef cattle’s body, once belonging to an ox, hence the term ‘ox tail.’ While it may seem unusual, this part of the animal is used in various cuisines worldwide.

Oxtail meat can be quite tough due to the heavy muscle and connective tissue. However when cooked slowly and with care, the oxtail can transform into a rich, flavorful comfort food, often used in soups, stews, and braises. I love a good oxtail recipe and I’m sure you will too.

Braising Oxtail is my favorite way to cook beef oxtail as it allows the meat to tenderize and become incredibly juicy.

So, if you’re looking for a mouthwatering home-cooked meal, give beef oxtail recipes a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Is Beef Oxtail Good For You?

Beef oxtail is a delicious and popular meat option that is loved by many around the world. But the question of whether it’s good for you or not is one that has puzzled many health enthusiasts and nutrition experts alike.

The answer, however, is quite simple: beef oxtail is packed with essential nutrients and minerals such as protein, iron, calcium, and zinc.

These nutrients are vital for good health and well-being, which means that incorporating beef oxtail into your regular diet can be extremely beneficial.

Of course, like with all things, moderation is key, but there is no denying that beef oxtail can be a healthy addition to any meal plan.

Does Beef Oxtail Have Bones?

Beef oxtails are a cut of meat that includes bones. The bone within the oxtail is a key component, containing marrow that melts into the dish when braised, adding to the richness and depth of flavor.

The meat itself is surrounded by connective tissue and sinew, which, when cooked slowly, breaks down and adds to the tenderness and juiciness of the dish.

Despite the bone’s presence, it’s not there for consumption but rather for the enhancement of flavor and texture it provides.

What Is Beef Oxtail

Is Beef Tail The Same As Oxtail?

Beef tail and oxtail are essentially the same, both referring to the tail of a cattle.

The term “oxtail” was initially used to refer to the tail of an ox, which is a castrated male cattle, but today, it can be used to refer to the tail of any cattle, including cows.

While some sources suggest that “oxtail” may sometimes refer to imported versions of cow tail, it’s important to note that regardless of these minor differences, both come from the same part of the animal.

The meat is high in gelatin and requires long, slow cooking methods like stewing or braising to release its rich flavors.

Does Oxtail Taste Good?

Oxtail, when prepared correctly, can be a culinary delight that offers an exquisite taste. The process of cooking oxtail is rich in flavor and full of savory goodness.

Oxtail tastes robust and meaty, comparable to short rib, yet it’s even more succulent. As the bone is sliced crosswise, each piece is endowed with a generous lump of marrow rich in fat.

When you braise oxtail, it slowly cooks in its own juices, making the meat incredibly tender and the flavors deepening.

The braising process also helps the collagen in the oxtail to break down, resulting in a thick, luscious sauce that is simply irresistible. You can also use beef oxtail to make a hearty bone broth.

Is Oxtail Chewy?

Oxtail meat, which includes more bone than flesh, is known for its initial tough and chewy texture.

This resilience originates from deriving a highly utilized muscle, resulting in a fibrous texture.

However, this changes dramatically with the proper cooking process.

The oxtail’s connective tissues, cartilages, and bones soften during extended cooking times, giving the meat a soft, tender texture.

What About Oxtail Collagen?

The collagen in oxtails contributes to this chewy texture and enhances flavor, making them a popular ingredient in soups and stews.

If an oxtail is still tough after cooking, it’s likely because it has yet to be cooked long enough to become tender.

What Is Beef Oxtail

How Does Jamaican Oxtail Taste?

Jamaican oxtail has a rich and savory taste, similar to beef, but with more depth due to the slow cooking process and the connective tissue in the oxtail.

It is typically seasoned with various spices, including allspice, ginger, thyme, and scotch bonnet pepper, which add a warm, aromatic flavor profile reminiscent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Browning sauce, soy sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce enhance the meaty flavor, while ingredients like brown sugar and honey BBQ sauce lend a subtly sweet undertone. The overall taste is hearty, spicy, sweet, and deeply satisfying.

What Is Beef Oxtail

Does Oxtail Taste Like Chicken?

Oxtail doesn’t taste like chicken. This is a variety of meat sourced from the tail of a cow or ox, distinguished by a distinctive taste that differentiates it from other meat types.

Oxtail is rich, hearty, and flavorful due to the high amount of bone, marrow, and collagen in this tender meat. This results in a succulent and gelatinous texture when cooked properly.

The taste can be described as deep, intense, and beefy, closer to that of short ribs or stewing steak than chicken.

Moreover, how oxtail is typically cooked, slow-cooked, or stewed to tenderize the tough meat contributes to its distinct flavor.

While chicken is a versatile protein with a mild flavor that can take on the tastes of various seasonings and sauces, oxtail has a robust taste that stands out, even in heavily seasoned dishes.

What Is Beef Oxtail

What Meat Is Similar To Oxtail?

Oxtail has a beefy flavor and tough texture that softens into tender morsels after slow cooking. There are several similar substitutes in the realm of meats.

One such alternative is beef cheeks, which are found between the jaw and neck of a cow.

They require a slow-cooking method to break down the collagen and fat, making meat as flavorful and tender as oxtail.

Similarly, beef neck can be used as a replacement for oxtail. It shares a robust flavor profile and requires slow, lengthy cooking methods to achieve the desired tenderness.

Short ribs are another viable substitute. When stewed or braised, these cuts provide a rich, hearty taste and a fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

What Is Beef Oxtail

What Is The Best Way To Soften Oxtail?

The best way to soften and cook oxtail involves slow and patient cooking, where using a slow cooker or crock pot can be incredibly beneficial.

The process begins by trimming the excess fat from the oxtail, which helps to prevent the broth from becoming overly greasy.

The oxtail is then seared to seal in the flavors and create a rich broth. This is followed by a long, gentle simmer that allows the tough connective tissue to break down and the bone marrow to melt into the broth.

This makes the oxtail super tender and gives the broth a silky smooth texture and an added flavor that’s hard to beat.

Allow Oxtail To Sit Overnight

Let the oxtail and broth sit overnight in the fridge to enhance the flavor even more. This allows the flavors to meld together and intensify, resulting in an even more delicious dish when it’s reheated the next day.

What Is Beef Oxtail

How Do You Serve Oxtails?

Here are some ways you can serve oxtail recipes:

  1. Braised Oxtail: Braising is a standard method of cooking oxtails. You can start by browning the oxtails in olive oil, then add a mixture of vegetables such as onions, carrots, and celery. Pour in your braising liquid – this could be a combination of beef broth, red wine, or even a dark stout beer. Include herbs like bay leaves for added flavor. Let this simmer until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  2. Oxtail Soup: A hearty oxtail soup is a delightful way to serve oxtails. Begin by slow-cooking the oxtails in a rich broth until they’re tender. Add vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and peas. For a spicy kick, sprinkle in some cayenne pepper. Serve this with crusty bread on the side for a satisfying meal.
  3. Jamaican Oxtail Stew: This dish, known as traditional oxtail soup, is a staple in Jamaican cuisine. Start by browning your oxtails in your Instant pot, then add a unique blend of traditional oxtail soup ingredients, including allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnet peppers. Next, incorporate your onions, garlic, and a bit of tomato paste. Stir in some beef broth and let this stew until the oxtails are tender.
  4. Oxtail with Mashed Potatoes: For a comforting, homestyle dish, serve your braised oxtails over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. The rich oxtail gravy is a perfect complement to the fluffy potatoes.
  5. Oxtail Stew with Onion and Garlic Gravy: Another delicious recipe involves slow-cooking oxtails with onions and garlic. When the oxtails reach a tender state, extract them from the pot. Utilize the leftover broth to create a savory onion and garlic gravy. Serve the oxtails with this gravy poured over the top for a dish that’s full of flavor.
  6. Oxtails with Red Wine and Root Vegetables: After browning your oxtails in olive oil, deglaze the pan with a robust red wine. Add root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips, along with bay leaves. Let this simmer until the oxtails are tender, and the flavors have melded together. The red wine adds depth and richness to the dish.
  7. Spicy Oxtail Tacos: For a twist on traditional tacos, use braised oxtails as your filling. Once the oxtails are tender, shred the meat and mix it with cayenne pepper or taco seasoning for some heat. Serve these tortillas with your favorite taco garnishes – cilantro, lime, and salsa.
  8. Oxtail Ragu: This Italian-inspired dish involves slow-cooking oxtails with tomatoes, garlic, and herbs until the meat falls off the bone. Utilize a handheld blender to achieve a smooth texture for the sauce, then place the meat back into the sauce.
  9. Asian-style Braised Oxtails: Braise your oxtails in a mixture of soy sauce, star anise, ginger, and sugar. The result is a sweet and savory dish perfectly served over rice.
  10. Oxtail Pot Pie: Use your slow-cooked oxtails to fill a pot pie for a comforting winter dish. Top with a buttery pastry crust and bake until golden. The rich, flavorful filling pairs perfectly with the flaky crust.
What Is Beef Oxtail

How Do You Know When Oxtails Go Bad?

Here are some points to guide you on how to know when Oxtails go bad:

  1. Check the Expiry Date: Always look at the packaging for the expiry date. It’s safer not to consume the meat if it’s past the date.
  2. Inspect the Color: Fresh oxtails usually have a bright red color. If the meat has turned brown or gray, it may be spoiled.
  3. Smell the Meat: Spoiled meat usually has a strong, unpleasant odor. If the oxtails smell sour, musty, fishy, or like ammonia, they’ve likely gone bad.
  4. Feel the Texture: Fresh meat should be firm to the touch. If the oxtails feel slimy or sticky, they might be spoiled.
  5. Look for Mold: If you see any mold or green patches on the oxtails, do not consume them.
  6. Cooking Behavior: If the meat doesn’t cook as usual – for example, it becomes excessively tough or fails to change color appropriately – it could be a sign that it’s spoilt.

How Long Do Oxtails Last?

Storing oxtail properly can extend its shelf-life and preserve its quality. Here’s how long oxtails last depending on the storage method:


Raw oxtails can last in the fridge for about 3-5 days. Store oxtails in their original packaging until you’re ready to use them.

If you’ve opened the package, rewrap it tightly using plastic wrap or aluminum foil.


Freezing them is a great option if you wait to use the oxtails. Oxtails can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Using airtight packaging is crucial to prevent freezer burn and maintain the meat’s quality. Vacuum-sealed bags are excellent for this purpose. Remember to mark the package with the date before storing it in the freezer.

What Is Beef Oxtail

Cooked Oxtail

Cooked oxtail should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. If properly preserved in an airtight container, it can remain fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

If you wish to keep it longer, you can freeze cooked oxtail. Like raw oxtail, it can last up to a year in the freezer when packed in airtight packaging.

Is Oxtail A Healthy Meat?

Eating oxtails has numerous health benefits, making it a worthwhile addition to your diet.

Oxtails are an excellent source of protein, essential for muscle growth and recovery. They are also high in calcium, crucial for bone health, and especially beneficial when cooked into a broth.

This meat also contains antioxidants and selenium, powerful nutrients that aid in controlling the aging process and preventing degenerative diseases.

The high vitamin K content in oxtails improves dental health and protects against liver diseases.

The fiber aids digestion, while its nutritional components may contribute to skin health and improved eyesight.

Is Oxtail Expensive To Buy?

Oxtail, a unique and flavorful cut of meat, has become more costly over the years. This price increase might surprise some, especially considering that oxtail doesn’t offer much meat.

When planning to buy oxtail, prices vary greatly depending on where you purchase it. For instance, online sources cite prices ranging from $4.99 to $14.99 per pound.

If you’re looking to find oxtail at a more affordable price, check your local grocery store, as they often have deals or discounts on various cuts of meat.

What Is Beef Oxtail

Beef Oxtail is a remarkably adaptable cut of meat that offers many cooking possibilities.

 Oxtail created a wonderfully hearty soup that amplified a modest quantity of meat by incorporating a diverse range of vegetables.

Considering the significant amount of connective tissue, cartilage, and bone marrow in Beef Oxtail, it is imperative to slow cook it in a humid environment, such as braising, to break down these components effectively.

It’s also high in protein, calcium, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that contribute significantly to overall health.

Although oxtail may sometimes be expensive, buying it from a local grocery store can be cost-effective. With its many uses and health benefits, oxtail is an excellent addition to any diet.

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