Even if you don’t consider yourself a Yelp-crazed foodie, you may have noticed a resurgence of “odd bits” on local menus. Comparable to beef tongue, cheeks, and tripe, oxtail holds a tasty place outside most people’s comfort zones. And while they’re more commonly used to create flavorul stocks and stews, we’re putting them to good use in a San Diego favorite – the street taco.
Preparing oxtail isn’t difficult, it just takes time (9-10hrs). Well-prepared, oxtail is rich, tender, and flavorful. If undercooked, it will have the texture of a chew toy. So, if you’re a patient master of the crock pot, this recipe should be right up your alley.
Beer-Braised Oxtail Tacos
What you’ll need:
Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl.
¼ Cup chili powder
1 Tbs. salt
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tsp. black pepper
½ Tsp. cayenne pepper
½ Tsp. cinnamon
Large Frying Pan
½ Cup all-purpose flour
½ Cup butter
6-qt Crock Pot
1 22oz bottle Off The Rails
1 cup chicken stock
1 large white onion, chopped
2 celery stocks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 serrano chili, seeded/chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Chopped white onion
Salsa verde or habanero hot sauce
What to do:
Rinse oxtails in cold water and pat dry.
Coat oxtails in dry rub, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Melt butter in a large skillet, dust oxtails in flour, and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. When oxtails are golden brown, remove from skillet and reserved on a plate.
Add onions, celery, carrots, peppers, and garlic to the skillet and sauté on high until onions are golden brown. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to the crock pot, adding the chicken stock and bottle of Off The Rails to the remaining vegetables in the skillet. Bring to a gentle boil and remove from heat.
Arrange browned oxtails in a layer over the sautéed vegetables in the crock pot. Pour the warm liquid contents of the skillet over the oxtails, cover, and cook on low for 9-10hrs.
Once the oxtails have finished cooking, meat should easily fall away from the bones.
Suggested beer pairing: Tower 20 IIPA – T-20’s dry hop bitterness will cut through the oxtail’s rich flavors, while complementing the zesty lime and cilantro.