Ladies and gentlemen, slav here.
Today I shall show to you how to make ox tail stew. I am saddened by the fact that you baby-men can cook nothing better than ramen. You will say to me: "But Slav! We are just poorfags!" Nonsense, a stew is made with worst cuts of meat, basically with scraps. A real man needs to know how to stew. Da! Let's begin!
>1 - 1.5 kg ox tail
>1.5 kg - 2 kg young beef, cubed. The tougher the cut, the better.
>3 - 3.5 kg onions, diced
>2 spoonfuls of sunflower seed oil or 1 spoonful of lard
>1 tablespoon of thyme
>1 pinch of basil
>6 bay leaves
>1 tablespoon of paprika
>1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
>1 sheet/ 2 tablespoons of gelatin (optional)
>half a liter of tomato puree/tomato pulp, what have you
>half a liter of red wine with attitude, I prefer the Mali Plavac sort from the island of Lastovo. Primitivo or Pinot Noir will do too.
Cut the oxtail into segments. Cube the meat into inch-sized cubes. Dice the onions. It is manly to cry at this step, for you are murdering the tiny life of onions.
Throw your lard or oil into a decent sized pot, the bigger the better. When it is hot enough, throw all the onions in, then furiously stir them for about half an hour. If it starts to stick to the pot, throw in some wine, but do not throw the entire quantity.
After your onions have turned all nice and glossy, throw in the meat and the tail. Sear the meat and onions on high heat, furiously stirring every two minutes or so. Do this for another half an hour.
Put in the garlic, bay leaves, basil and thyme into the pot. Salt per taste (we will add more later).
After the spices are in, fill the pot with water to cover the meat, and then some. Maintain medium-high heat, and let the water evaporate. Stir every 15ish minutes or so, for two hours.
Two hours later, most of the water should have evaporated, leaving you with a fine looking dense stew. But we do not end here. Pick out the bay leaves and dispose of them. Pour in the tomatoes. Stir. Pour in the rest of the wine. Stir.
Give it half an hour more. Put in your paprika, and lower the heat. Stir it in good. Check salt levels, add more if needed. Stir.
(Optional) In the meantime, soak your gelatin in a bit of cold water for 5 minutes, then stir it in. Cook for 20ish more minutes then take away from the heat.
Disclaimer: If by any chance you did not/could not get the ox tail, gelatin is your friend. It is the extract of the periostium and skin of pigs that will add the richness, thickness and density to your stew. Would recommend.
In total, this cooks for 5 hours and feeds 8 people. The ingredients are very cheap. Serve with polenta or elbow macaroni, or white bread. Prijatno!
Oxtail is also eaten where I'm from, but I now live in the US.
When I first moved here, it was cheap.
Flash forward to today and it's gone up to over three times the price it was when I first bought it. It's more expensive than motherfucking fillet/tenderloin! It seems cheaper, but it ain't.
I can get a whole tenderloin for $6.99/lb and oxtail costs $11.99/lb. Fucking ridic, that shit.
We cook oxtail in tomato sauce, by the way.
OP here. I personally am friends with a butcher, and I get this stuff basically for free. But its availability is unreliable. The point of the oxtail is all the connective tissue on it. The collagen melts at a certain temperature, and forms a gel-like structure within the stew, making it a sublime melt-in-mouth experience.
So if you can't get it, up the meat a bit and add the gelatin, like I mentioned above. And do find a good butcher.
That's the price at a good butcher, friend-o. I can get questionable oxtail from the Chinese butcher for a little less, though.
The cheapest I can get it is from the Arab-owned combination Caribbean/African/Mexican butcher a few neighbourhoods over from me, but I dislike driving there because it's out of the way and there's nothing else there. And I'd have to buy at least 10lbs/4½kg, though I think it's actually 20lbs, but I'm not sure. I know it's at least 10. They give a discount for bulk purchases, otherwise, the price is the same as the Chinese butcher.