SERIOUSLY SIMPLE: Braised Oxtail Stew with Olives: A Budget Minded and Tasty Main Course
I remember the first time I ordered oxtail stew at a restaurant. My friends all said it was the most delicious beef stew I would ever enjoy, so how could I resist? It sounded weird, but once I had my first bite I understood why this dish has never gone out of style.
Let's clear up the myth that oxtails are from an ox. They are actually the tail meat of the steer. Oxtails are a tough cut and need to be slowly braised to bring out their tenderness. If you are watching your budget, they are a great alternative to more expensive stewing meat cuts. Ask your butcher to cut the oxtails into 2-inch very meaty slices.
If you love shortribs, you are sure to enjoy these tender morsels. The oxtails are slowly braised in a tomato sauce accented with bacon, anchovy paste and briny olives. Make this stew up a day or two ahead of time so you can refrigerate it and skim off all of the accumulated fat before reheating.
This is a perfect main course on a chilly autumn night. I like to serve the stew with either simple buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes or roasted baby potatoes. Steamed green beans or spinach also make a nice accompaniment. To drink? Serve a Syrah, Zinfandel or Malbec.
Braised Oxtail Stew with Olives
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pounds oxtails, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced