How to Cook Oxtails in a Slow Cooker: Rich and Tender Meat with Minimal Effort

How to Cook Oxtails in a Slow Cooker?

To cook oxtails in a slow cooker, start by trimming the excess fat and rinsing the oxtails.

Soak them in water with salt for 1-2 hours, then drain.

Sauté the oxtails with olive oil to brown them before placing them in the slow cooker.

Use a mixture of beef broth and water as the liquid base for the gravy, and add onions and garlic for flavor.

Cook the oxtails on high in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

Leftover oxtails can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Serve them over mashed potatoes, rice, or grits.

Key Points:

  • Trim excess fat and rinse oxtails
  • Soak oxtails in saltwater for 1-2 hours, drain
  • Sauté oxtails in olive oil to brown
  • Use beef broth and water as liquid base, add onions and garlic
  • Cook oxtails on high in slow cooker for 8 hours
  • Store leftovers in fridge for 4 days or freezer for 3 months
  • Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or grits

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that oxtails are not actually from oxen? Instead, they are the culinary term used for the tail of a cow.
2. Oxtails were once considered a cheap and undesirable cut of meat, but they have gained popularity in recent years due to their rich and flavorful taste when cooked slowly.
3. Oxtails are packed with collagen, which is released during the slow cooking process. This collagen gives the dish a delicious, gelatinous consistency, making it perfect for stews or soups.
4. Ancient Romans were known to enjoy oxtail dishes, believing they possessed medicinal properties and were beneficial for joint health.
5. In Jamaican cuisine, oxtail stew is a beloved national dish. However, it’s interesting to note that oxtails were introduced to Jamaica by European colonizers and are not native to the island.

Oxtail Preparation And Seasoning

Oxtails, the tail of beef or veal, are a cut of meat known for their rich beef flavor and tender texture. Before cooking oxtails in a slow cooker, it is important to trim off any excess fat and rinse them thoroughly. This ensures that the meat will be clean and free from any unwanted flavors or textures.

To season the oxtails, you can start with basic seasonings like garlic, salt, and pepper. These simple ingredients will enhance the natural flavors of the meat. However, if you are looking to add a more distinctive taste, you can consider using Jamaican oxtail seasoning or hot sauce to give your dish a spicy kick.

Before slow cooking the oxtails, it is recommended to soak them in water with salt for 1-2 hours. This helps to remove any excess blood or impurities from the meat. After soaking, make sure to drain the oxtails well before proceeding with the next steps.

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Slow Cooker Cooking Method

Using a slow cooker is the ideal method for cooking oxtails as it allows the meat to become tender and succulent over a long period of time. This low and slow cooking technique helps to break down the tough connective tissues in the oxtails, resulting in melt-in-your-mouth meat.

To begin, heat some olive oil in a pan and sauté the oxtails until they are nicely browned on all sides. This step enhances the flavor and creates a beautiful caramelized exterior on the meat. Alternatively, you can use vegetable oil for browning the oxtails if you prefer.

After browning the oxtails, transfer them to the slow cooker. Add enough beef broth or water to cover the oxtails, creating a flavorful base for the gravy. Enhance the flavor by adding onions and garlic to the slow cooker. These aromatics will infuse the meat with their delicious taste and aroma.

For seasoning the oxtails in the slow cooker, a highly recommended option is Rosamae Seasonings. This particular blend of spices and herbs is specifically designed to enhance the flavor of oxtails, creating a truly delightful dish.

Cook the oxtails on high in the slow cooker for approximately 8 hours. This extended cooking time allows the meat to become incredibly tender, making it easy to pull apart with a fork. The slow cooker does all the work for you, so you can sit back and let the flavors meld together.

  • Use a slow cooker for tender and succulent oxtails.
  • Browning the oxtails enhances flavor and creates caramelized exterior.
  • Consider using olive oil or vegetable oil for browning.
  • Add beef broth or water to slow cooker, along with onions and garlic.
  • Try Rosamae Seasonings for enhancing the flavor.
  • Cook oxtails on high in the slow cooker for 8 hours.

Browning The Oxtails

Browning the oxtails before slow cooking them is an important step to add depth of flavor and enhance the overall dish. To achieve this, heat up olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the oxtails and sear them on all sides until they are evenly browned.

The browning process not only creates a lovely caramelization on the exterior but also helps to lock in the juices and intensify the flavor of the meat. The Maillard reaction, which occurs during browning, adds complexity and richness to the oxtails.

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If you prefer, you can also choose to sauté the oxtails with vegetable oil instead of olive oil. Vegetable oil has a higher smoke point, which allows for better browning without the risk of burning.

Making The Gravy

The gravy is an essential component of the oxtail dish, adding richness and depth of flavor. To make the gravy, use the liquid base in the slow cooker as the foundation. This can be beef broth or water, depending on your preference.

In addition to the liquid base, the flavor of the gravy can be enhanced by adding onions and garlic. These aromatic vegetables add a savory note to the dish and complement the rich taste of the oxtails.

As the oxtails slow cook, the flavors of the liquid base, onions, and garlic meld together, creating a delicious and savory gravy. The meat becomes tender and succulent, absorbing the flavors of the gravy as it simmers slowly.

Storage And Freezing Tips

Leftover smothered oxtails can be conveniently stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you plan to store the cooked oxtails in the freezer, it is recommended to use freezer bags or containers to ensure optimal freshness.

When reheating frozen oxtails, you can simply thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. This method provides the best flavor and preserves the texture of the meat. However, if you are short on time, you can also reheat the frozen oxtails directly in a pot on the stove over low heat until they are heated through.

Variation And Serving Suggestions

There are numerous variations to the oxtail recipe that allow you to personalize the dish according to your taste preferences. Consider adding additional herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves to give the oxtails a unique flavor profile and aroma.

Instead of Worcestershire sauce, you can experiment with using soy sauce or red wine to add a different dimension of flavor to the dish. These ingredients add depth and richness, intensifying the taste of the oxtails.

Incorporating vegetables such as potatoes and carrots into the slow cooker along with the oxtails can elevate the dish and provide a contrast in texture. The vegetables will absorb the flavors of the oxtails and the gravy, enhancing the overall taste experience.

For those who enjoy a fiery kick, consider adding hot sauce or peppers to the slow cooker to introduce some heat to the dish. This will add a spicy element that complements the richness of the oxtails.

To serve the oxtails, consider pairing them with mashed potatoes, rice, or grits. These side dishes complement the tender meat and provide a hearty base for the flavorful gravy. The combination of the rich oxtails, creamy potatoes or rice, and savory gravy creates a truly satisfying and comforting meal.

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Cooking oxtails in a slow cooker is a simple and convenient method that results in fork-tender meat with minimal effort. By following the preparation and seasoning steps, browning the oxtails, making the savory gravy, and properly storing the leftovers, you can enjoy delicious meals that will satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. With its versatility and unique flavor, oxtails are a wonderful addition to any cooking repertoire. So, go ahead and give this recipe a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to brown oxtails before cooking?

Yes, it is recommended to brown oxtails before cooking. This step helps to seal in the flavors and juices of the meat, enhancing its taste and texture. By seasoning the oxtails and searing them before slow cooking, we ensure that the flavors are locked in, creating a more flavorful and succulent dish. Although not essential, browning the oxtails adds an extra layer of depth to the overall flavor profile, making it a worthwhile step in the cooking process.

How long does it take for oxtail to get tender?

To achieve tender oxtail, one should ensure an adequate amount of water covers the oxtails before bringing it to a boil on high heat. Afterwards, simply cover it and reduce the heat to a medium setting. The oxtails should be cooked for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours until they reach the desired tenderness.

Do you have to soak oxtails before cooking?

While it is recommended to soak oxtails before cooking, it is not necessarily required. Soaking helps to remove any impurities and excess blood, resulting in a cleaner and milder flavor. However, if you are short on time, you can skip the soaking step and still achieve great results by thoroughly rinsing the oxtails under cool running water to remove any visible debris. This will ultimately depend on personal preference and the desired outcome of your dish.

How do you tenderize oxtails fast?

To speed up tenderizing oxtails, begin by searing the seasoned meat on the stovetop to enhance the flavors. After searing, transfer the oxtails to a pressure cooker and ensure they are covered with enough water. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes in the pressure cooker, which should result in perfectly tenderized oxtails. The combination of searing and pressure cooking expedites the tenderizing process, providing a flavorful and enjoyable meal.