Today is one of those days. The kind of day I want to stay at home and slip back under the warmth of my comforter. Since I can’t do that, the closest thing to that feeling for me is oxtail. Oxtail is my go-to dish for comfort and when I have it I feel like I am getting a hug from my belly. That Good! Truth be told, if I were dying it would be my last meal. It has also become a favorite dish for my LoVe and my pop!TOT as they see the amount of time and love I put into making the dish. In preparing, I literally start the night before I plan to serve it. This Oxtail Orecchiette was no different….
Inspired by a trip to LA with my LoVe, I decided to take a different approach to my dish and incorporate Orecchiette pasta into the dish. Orecchiette is a distinctive type of pasta shaped like small ears, hence the name (orecchio, ear, orecchiette, little ears). Their slightly domed shape produces an interesting combination of textures, soft in the middle and chewy on the outside. It reminded me of the dumplings I often had with the oxtail when growing up in the Bronx. The hearty pasta with the stewed flavors of the oxtail created a perfectly balanced bowl of goodness. After this dinner we all ate like Kings for days to come. The best part? The flavors just intensify with each day that passes.
Now it’s your turn to make this delectable dish. However, I will warn you… this is only meant for people who you want to keep around for a lifetime!
- 2 pounds of Beef Oxtail
- 2 teaspoon Oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon Adobo
- 2 tablespoon Recaito (you can use diced cilantro, green pepper, onion and garlic)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon browning liquid
- 2 teaspoon flour (to make the sauce thick)
- 1 box of Orecchiette Pasta
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Recaito, a unique cilantro-based seasoning made with cilantro, green pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Total Time: 6.5-8.5 hours
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2-2.5 hours
Total Time: 3-3.5 hours
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 hours
Total Time: 4.5-5.5 hours
- Set your slow cooker to low/high based on the number of hours needed (usually 6-8 hours)
- I prefer a slow cooker to a pressure cooker or stove top as you can leave the slow cooker on overnight and can observe the progress very passively (even sneak in a taste here and there)
- Pressure Cooker is best when you are lacking in cook time, however needs the most attention as things can easily go very bad if you cook for too long or too short. Let’s not forget about the possibility of an explosion if the lid is taken off prematurely which can lead to severe burns. Also, you cannot see the progress of the cooking so this is not the best option for beginners or people who don’t typically use pressure cookers. (Typical cook time: 2 – 2.5 hours)
- Stove Top is best for those without a pressure cooker or slow cooker; however takes the most amount of vigilance. The nature of the pots you use will determine the amount of time you need. The biggest piece is making sure there is always liquid in the pot as it tends to evaporate over time. (Typical cook time: 4 –5 hours)
- Wash the oxtail pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Trim off as much excess fat as possible.
- Season your meat and let marinate for 2 hours.
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan.
- Brown the oxtail over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then, until dark brown all over.
- Put the browned oxtail into the slow cooker and add enough water/marinade so that it just covers the contents of the pot.
- Oxtail has very fatty parts so I like to create a separate sauce to make a richer sauce with less fat. To do this return the frying pan to a low heat and add the onions, garlic, flour, browning sauce and marinade ingredients. Recreate the marinade if needed.
- Cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be rich and thick.
- After 6-8 hours, the meat should be tender and falling off the bones.
- Remove all bones which should be very easy at this point. If you are putting in effort then you have not cooked the meat long enough.
- Boil pasta until AL-dente and add olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Add the oxtail to the sauce and serve over the pasta.
- Garnish with Parmesan cheese and a bay leaf.