Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. Formerly, it referred only to the tail of an ox or steer, a castrated male. An oxtail typically weighs 2 to 4 lbs. (1–1.8 kg) and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale.
Oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. It is a traditional stock base for a soup. Although traditional preparations often involve hours of slow cooking, modern methods usually take a shortcut by utilizing a pressure cooker. Oxtail is the main ingredient of the Italian dish coda alla vaccinara. It is a popular flavour for powder, instant and premade canned soups in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Oxtails are also one of the popular bases for Russian aspic appetizer dishes (холодец or студень), along with pig trotters or ears or cow "knees", but are the preferred ingredients among Russian Jews because they can be Kosher.
Versions of oxtail soup are popular traditional dishes in South America, West Africa, China, Spain and Indonesia. In Korean cuisine, a soup made with oxtail is called kkori gomtang (꼬리곰탕). It is a thick soup seasoned with salt and eaten with a bowl of rice. It can be used as a stock for making tteokguk (rice cake soup). Stewed oxtail with butter beans or as main dish (with rice) is popular in Jamaica, Trinidad, and other West Indian cultures. Oxtail is also very popular in South Africa where it is often cooked in a traditional skillet called a potjie, which is a three-legged cast iron pot placed over an open fire. Oxtail is also eaten in other southern parts of Africa like Zimbabwe and served with sadza and greens. In the United States, oxtail is a mainstay in African American and West Indian households. In the Philippines, it is prepared in a peanut based stew called Kare-kare. In Iran, Oxtail is slow-cooked and served as a substitute for shank in a main dish called Baghla-Poli-Mahicheh which is prepared with rice, shank (or oxtail) and a mixture of herbs including dill, coriander, parsley and garlic.
In the United States, oxtail has the meat-cutting classification NAMP 1791.
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