So we went nose to tail last night with ox tail and ox tongue. I didn’t take photographs, so you’ll have to trust me that mine looked pretty similar to the below last night.
Originally, I was only going to go with ox tongue, but the one I got from the butcher was not as large as I expected. They looked bigger in the photographs and videos. I think my butcher said it was a cow tongue actually. Technically, a cow is a female, so maybe that’s why it was smaller.
Anyways, it made me realise that I needed more meat for the stew, so I went back to the butcher and got some ox tail.
This is an easy way to cook. There is very little preparation and for most of the time the stew is just simmering on the stove top. It becomes a little labour intensive after everything is cooked (more on that below). I went with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe but kept out the heart. That one was just a bridge too far for me.
The result was very good: the meat was incredible tender, and the broth was tasty. I would characterise this recipe as more paleo because there were carrots and parsnips in the stew. Of course, both of these can be quite sweet with cooking. I suppose that’s not a problem if you aren’t a strict keto-type. It wasn’t a problem for me because my better half is more paleo than keto and loves carrots and parsnips. I had one tiny piece of each. I mainly ate the meat and the celery. From what I can find online, the broth is not going to load you up with carbs either.
The texture of the ox tongue was interesting. It tasted like the typical beef one would use in a stew, but the texture was a little spongy. That made it incredibly tender, but I think the texture will take a little getting used to.
If you’ve never had ox tail, I would suggest that this is a good gateway for offal. With slow cooking it is amazingly tasty. I’ve been making ox tail dishes for years and they always turn out really well. Slow cooking with red wine is often one of the nicest ways to have it. Ox tail, like the tongue, has the delicious taste of stewed beef, but it is incredibly tender.
This one is a winner. I wouldn’t make it every weekend, but I think it now has a place in my list of winter dishes. It didn’t have any negative effects on my blood glucose which is, of course, very important for me.
- One ox tongue
- A kilo of ox tail cut into three inch pieces
- Celery 750g
- Carrots 750g
- Parsnips 500g
- Two leeks
- Two large onions
- Four garlic cloves
- Bouquet garni
- Two bay leaves
- Small handful of black pepper corns
- Two big pinches of sea salt
- Put the whole tongue and ox tail into a big pot of cold water and crank the hob up to high heat.
- Prepare half of your veg to add to the beef. All of it should be roughly chopped.
- Let the beef come to a vigorous simmer and skim off any grey foam before you add the veg. N.B., this may depend on the quality of the beef because mine didn’t really produce any grey foam.
- Add half of the carrots, leaks, celery and onions.
- Add all the herbs, all the garlic, salt and peppercorns.
- Water should be covering everything in the pot.
- Let the pot simmer at low-medium heat for four or five hours.
- Once cooked, skim as much fat off the top as you can and then remove the meat placing it in a large bowl to rest.
- Discard the veg using a slotted spoon. Then run the beef stock through a sieve transferring the stock to another pot.
- Add the other half of your veg: onion, leek, carrots, parsnips to the stock.
- Take the meat off the oxtail and put it into the pot. N.B., there is so much collagen in the oxtail that you may find your hands getting a little sticky. I had to wash my hands a few times so I could get to grips with the tail.
- Peel the skin off the tongue and trim the “root” of the tongue; chop the tongue up into rough chunks and throw them into the pot.
- Let the whole thing simmer on low-medium heat until the veg is cooked – around thirty minutes.
- Serve in shallow bowls.