Below is a Home Front Video that demonstrates "How to Process an Ox Tail" for all of you "do it yourselfers" that grow your own meat or buy it farm fresh. Here is a TIP: If you are not doing the butchering yourself you have to specifically request that the butcher or farmer save these parts for you or they will be thrown out. Then you will most likely have to process them - like I am doing in the video - in order to eat it or freeze it.
My theory on the "Odd Parts"
It's very important to me that I eat and use as much of the animals that I raise for food as possible. I love and care for them to the best of my ability, killing them is not easy - even if they taste good. In my opinion I would be disrespecting them and my own efforts if I threw away edible parts just because society thinks they are yucky.
The truth is humans have eaten and enjoyed these parts for thousands of years. Originally they were eaten out of necessity (because one had to eat it), but eventually folks learned how to make them taste pretty good. This is the start of a series which will go over how to process and cook many odd parts from a beef.
Some of these recipes I learned from my mom, some of them I found online and tweaked them until I liked them. Growing up, my family was a big believer in eating the "odd parts." Too often today when people think of beef all they think of is steaks and hamburger - maybe they think of roast if they grew up with a mom that cooked. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE to a beef than steaks and hamburger!
|Ox Tail in a bowl of cool water waiting to be processed.|
Cooking from scratch is a big part of "Self-Reliance" and while I have no desire to turn this into a cooking blog, I do believe there are many important lessons in self-reliance to learn through cooking. After all - what good is it to store food and grow it if you have no idea how to cook it?! And if you are going to cook it, it might as well taste good so you will want to cook it again right? So I will be including recipes as much as possible (I inevitably get asked for them anyways).
Let's make a deal. Give these an honest try, once - in the process you will learn and prove to YOURSELF that you can do it. If you really don't like the taste of the dish - you don't have to eat it again, BUT at least you will know how to fix it if you have to and carry that confidence with you.
And as last resort, if you absolutely cannot eat Ox Tail, yet you are raising your own beef or buying it farm raised, save that part and strip the meat to give to your dog or maybe a neighbors dog. You could even make dog food out of it yourself, to learn how click here ---> How to Make and Can Dog Food!
- 1 can of kidney beans (or the equivalent of dry beans that have been soaked overnight - more beans don't hurt)
- 3-4 pounds oxtail
- 1 Large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 small bunch of chopped green onions
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 4 teaspoons hot paprika (I did half smoked paprika and half reg, because I did not have hot)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used the hottest oriental chili sauce I could find)
- 4 tablespoons gravy master
- 6 cups beef broth (homemade is better!)
- 4 teaspoons tomato paste (or one small can if you don't make your own)
- Salt to taste (I used a little less than 1 TBS)
|Ready to set in the fridge overnight.|
In a crock-pot, add oxtails, onions, scallions, garlic, thyme, red pepper, paprika, bay leaf, hot sauce, and gravy master and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. I would also like to add that this also makes a GREAT dutch oven recipe - but let the ox tail marinate in a covered glass bowl overnight, then add it to your dutch oven prior to cooking.
Add enough water to just cover the oxtails and cook on low, for 8-10 hours. Every hour or so add some water or broth, alternating, as necessary, to keep oxtails some what covered with liquid. With 2 hours of cooking time left, add the beans, tomato paste, and 2 more cups of beef broth if needed.
Simmer uncovered 2 hours, skimming fat off top and stirring occasionally. In the last 1/2 hour of cook time, season with salt. Serve with rice and enjoy. Go ahead and pick up the chunks of ox tail with your fingers and pull the remaining meat off with your teeth, I won't tell anyone! Remember hand washing before eating is golden!