What the heck is oxtail? Most of what we – and by we I mean Americans – call oxtail is actually tail sections from a cow. It contains a center bone and can be a bit fatty, but when cooked low and slow, the meat becomes super tender. Sounds like a perfect job for the crock pot though you could certainly braise these on the stove top instead.
Have I told you how much crock pots rule? Yes, I have, but it bears repeating: if you are strapped for time and think you don’t have the chance to cook, a slow cooker is probably the single best use of $30-40 that I can think of. It’s the ultimate in
lazy smart cooking because once the food goes in, you literally have to do nothing but wait. Win!
When I researched Caribbean recipes for oxtail, most of them had Paleo-unfriendly ingredients like flour or sugar. Ick. Instead, I’ve given you all the amazing flavor without any unsavory additions. This would be super tasty served over cauliflower rice. For an even *faster* version, eliminate steps 2-4 and just throw everything into the crock pot together. I think the extra couple minutes it takes to brown the meat is well worth it though.
If you can’t find oxtail, you could substitute stew meat instead.
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 6 hours Makes: 2 lb of meat plus veggies
- 2 lb (1 kg) beef oxtails
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
- 2 cups beef stock, homemade or organic is best
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon allspice berries (or 1 teaspoon ground allspice)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (I like Red Boat Fish Sauce)
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- Coconut oil or fat of choice
- Sea salt and pepper
- Prepare all the veggies: dice the onions and carrots. Mince the garlic and ginger. If using jalapeño pepper, you can remove some or all of the seeds and mince. If you like it spicy, you can keep the seeds or even add a hotter pepper such as habanero (Scotch bonnet).
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil. Sprinkle the oxtails with salt and pepper. Brown them on all sides, and place them in the crock pot.
- In the same skillet, add the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the beef stock, tomato paste, allspice berries, fish sauce and thyme. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up all the browned bits from the oxtail. If you want to get fancy, this is called deglazing the pan and the bits are called fond. Fun with cooking!
- Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into the crockpot to cover the oxtail.
- Cook on high for 6 hours.