I say Oxtail. You say what?
Technically, Oxtail is the tail of the ox.
However, based on where you are it is the tail of the cow, bull, steer or cattle.
Stewed Oxtail with Butter Beans and Rice (or Rice and Peas), Oxtail with Lentil Peas and Dumplings or Oxtail Soup with Potatoes, Carrots, Pumpkin and Congo Peas are basic method of preparing this type of meat.
Did you know that Oxtail, like Cow Foot (which you may read about in my book called The Cow Foot Story while the Oxtail is cooking) is simply another type of meat.
Some cultures actually eat every part of the animal.
Oxtail is favoured by not only Caribbean natives, but Europeans and Asians as well as the British, Russians and Chinese.
You may have seen this piece of meat at the butcher or meat section of your grocery store a long, bony tail with the skin removed.
Choose one and ask the butcher to cut it up into 1 to 2 inch pieces.
The following is a recipe for Oxtail with Butter Beans.
Once at home, wash your Oxtail and transfer to a marinating bowl.
Marinate with the following ingredients: ½ tsp. Salt, Black Pepper, Parsley and Paprika, chopped Onions, couple thin slices of Garlic, Green Onion or Scallion, a sprig or two of Thyme, 1 or 2 tbsp. Mr. Goudas Trinidad Style Hot Sauce.
Pick up a piece of Pumpkin and 2 Carrots.
Cover and marinate overnight or for a couple hours before cooking.
Scan you Butter Bean, Congo Peas or Green Lentils for foreign material sticks or stones.
Place in a bowl, rinse a couple times.
Fill will fresh cool water and allow to soak overnight.
Heat 1 large cooking spoon full of Vegetable Oil in a large Dutch Pot on medium heat.
Carefully pour Oxtail and marinade into heated oil.
Watch out for the hot splatter from impact.
Stir occasionally for meat to become brown, approximately 5 minutes.
Add enough water to cover the Oxtail.
Stir, then cover your Dutch Pot and reduce heat to medium low.
Allow to cook for approximately 1and 1/2 to 2 hours.
Every 30 minutes, check water level, and stir.
Should you be using a pressure cooker, remove from heat after about 45 minutes to one hour.
Place pressure cooker under cool running water and allow steam to escape.
Open and check the Oxtail for tenderness.
(Naturally, the Oxtail is a tough piece of meat and requires a few hours of cooking to become tender.
Most of this cooking time could be eliminated with a pressure cooker.)
At this point, the Oxtail is almost tender point.
Remove and discard the skin and seeds from the Pumpkin, wash and chop into 1 (one) inch pieces.
Peel and wash Carrots then cut into 1 (one) inch pieces.
Add the Oxtail.
Drain the excess water from the soaking beans and add to Oxtail.
Ensuring that there is enough water to cover the Beans and Oxtail. Cover and cook for an additional hour.
The Oxtail is ready when the meat is almost falling off the bone or may be easily removed with a fork . Your beans are tender.
Using your cooking spoon, test some of the juice (gravy) to ascertain the tastiness.
Add a dash of Black Pepper or pinch of salt to tantilise your taste buds.
Pour over a bed of Rice (Goudas Rice is very nice!) accompanied by a delicious Cole Slaw or Salad.
Once you have tried Oxtail, you may find yourself craving it ever so often.