Dive into a sumptuous plate of smothered oxtails with this easy-to-follow recipe. Slow-cooked to perfection, this dish offers tender meat drenched in a rich onion and garlic-infused gravy, making for a hearty and comforting meal. Discover the full step-by-step guide on Ineskohl Kitchen!
- Oxtails (cleaned and patted dry)
- Cold water
- Lemon juice (for cleaning oxtails)
- Worcestershire sauce (for flavor and binding)
- 1.5 cups of flour (for coating)
- Bee seasoning (from the Level Up Series, adds smokiness and flavor)
- Cooking oil (for browning)
- Beef broth (for gravy)
- Onions (roughly chopped)
- Garlic cloves (large, minced)
- Salt and fresh black pepper (to taste)
- Preparation: First, ensure your oxtails are cleaned by soaking them in cold water with a splash of lemon juice. Work them around, give them a good rinse, and pat dry.
- Marination: In a large bowl, add your oxtails and drench with Worcestershire sauce. This serves dual purposes, adding flavor and helping the flour and seasoning stick to the meat.
- Coating: Combine 1.5 cups of flour and bee seasoning in another bowl. Mix well. Now, coat your oxtails in this mixture, ensuring they’re well covered.
- Browning the Oxtails: Using a cast iron skillet, heat some cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, brown the oxtails on all sides. This step is crucial for sealing in the flavors. Transfer the browned oxtails to a crockpot.
- Making the Gravy: Using the same skillet (without cleaning it), reduce the heat slightly. Add 2 cups of flour to the skillet, whisking constantly. The goal is to make a roux, cooking out the floury taste.
- Introducing Liquid: Once your roux is slightly browned, gradually add beef broth, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Your gravy will start to form now.
- Seasoning: Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. It’s crucial to keep tasting and adjusting.
- Onions and Garlic: Fold in your roughly chopped onions and minced garlic to the gravy. Let them simmer for a bit, infusing their flavors into the gravy.
- Combine: Pour the onion and garlic-infused gravy over the oxtails in the crockpot, ensuring they are well covered.
- Slow Cooking: Set your crockpot on high and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Check at the 6-hour mark. Your oxtails should be tender and the flavors melded together.
- Serve: Plate up some rice in a bowl and ladle over the tender oxtails and rich, flavorful gravy. Enjoy!
Tips for Perfect Smothered Oxtails:
- Dredging in Flour: This step is crucial for two reasons. Firstly, it helps in browning the oxtails which enhances the flavor. Secondly, the residual flour thickens the gravy as it cooks.
- Browning: Never rush the browning process. It’s this caramelization that introduces deep, rich flavors to the dish.
- Simmering: Low and slow is the key. By simmering the oxtails for hours, you’ll ensure they’re fall-off-the-bone tender.
- Liquid: Ensure the oxtails are mostly submerged in the liquid during the cooking process to prevent them from drying out.
- Seasoning: While the mentioned seasonings work well, feel free to experiment with herbs like thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves.
- Gravy Consistency: Depending on your preference, you can adjust the consistency of the gravy. If it’s too thick, add a bit more broth. If it’s too thin, allow the dish to simmer with the lid off for a while.
- Pairings: This dish is versatile. While rice is a classic choice, it goes just as well with mashed potatoes, polenta, or even couscous.
Enjoy your smothered oxtails, and remember, like with many dishes, it often tastes even better the next day!