The name alone may make some people blanch.
But to me, the tail never fails to get me in the heart.
You see, oxtails were the very last dish that I cooked for my Dad before he passed away. And so, they always make me think of him.
He’s the one who taught me true appreciation for this once-shunned, once-inexpensive cut that has such brazen beefiness.
If you like short ribs, you’re sure to go crazy for oxtails, which cook up even more tender with even more profound flavor. You can find them easily in the butcher case of Asian markets.
Sure, there’s more cartilage and bone in oxtails. But that’s what adds to their flavor and makes eating them such messy fun.
My Dad would cook up a cavernous pot on weekends, simmering the cut-up oxtails with star anise, soy sauce and ginger in a brothy cross between a soup and a stew. He’d throw in carrots and turnips, then let the pot simmer for hours until the meat was as tender as can be.
Then, he’d ladle big scoops of it into flat bowls filled with fluffy steamed rice, with the grains absorbing the aromatic broth so perfectly.