Southern-Style Oxtails Recipe

Soulful Comfort: Southern-Style Oxtails Recipe


In the realm of Southern cuisine, few dishes offer the heartwarming, soul-satisfying comfort of Southern-style oxtails. This culinary masterpiece, rich in history and flavor, is a testament to the deep roots of Southern cooking. Slow-cooked to tender perfection, oxtails are a delightful blend of savory and succulent, embodying the very essence of comfort food. This journey through the world of Southern-style oxtails will uncover their history, guide you through the cooking process, and provide insights into the various ways to savor this beloved dish.

Ingredients for Southern-Style Oxtails

Before we embark on the journey of preparing Southern-style oxtails, let’s gather the essential ingredients:

For the Oxtails:

3-4 pounds of oxtails
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Gravy:

3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (optional, can be substituted with more broth)
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (for thickening, if desired)

For Serving:

Cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or buttered noodles

Step-by-Step Instructions

Let’s embark on the journey to create a delectable Southern-style oxtails dish:
1. Prepare the Oxtails
a. Clean and Season

Rinse the oxtails under cold running water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season them generously with salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and paprika.

2. Sear the Oxtails
a. Heat the Oil

In a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

b. Sear the Oxtails

Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, sear the oxtails on all sides until they develop a rich, brown crust. This process enhances the flavor and locks in juices.

3. Prepare the Gravy
a. Sauté Aromatics

In the same pot, add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.

b. Add Vegetables

Introduce the sliced carrots, celery, and green bell pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften.

c. Return Oxtails

Place the seared oxtails back into the pot.

d. Pour in Liquid

Add the beef broth, red wine (if using), diced tomatoes, and bay leaves. The liquid should cover the oxtails. If needed, add more broth to ensure they are fully submerged.

e. Simmer

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the oxtails simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until they become tender and start to fall off the bone.

4. Thicken the Gravy (Optional)
a. Create a Slurry

If you desire a thicker gravy, mix 2-3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with a small amount of cold water to create a slurry.

b. Stir In

Stir the slurry into the simmering gravy and let it cook for a few more minutes until it thickens to your liking.

5. Serve and Enjoy
a. Serving Options

Southern-style oxtails are traditionally served over cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or buttered noodles. The choice is yours based on your preferences.

b. Ladle and Garnish

Ladle the oxtails and gravy over your chosen base. Garnish with fresh herbs like chopped parsley if desired.

6. Savor the Comfort
a. Dive In

Southern-style oxtails are best enjoyed with a side of greens and some cornbread for the full Southern

Southern-style oxtails are a flavorful and hearty dish, but it’s essential to consider the nutritional aspects to make informed dietary choices. Below is an approximate breakdown of the nutritional information for a serving of Southern-style oxtails, which includes the oxtails, gravy, and commonly served sides like rice or mashed potatoes. Keep in mind that specific values may vary based on portion sizes and the specific recipe used.

Nutritional Information for One Serving (Approximately):

Calories: About 450-600 calories
Protein: 30-40 grams
Carbohydrates: 20-40 grams
Dietary Fiber: 2-6 grams
Sugars: 2-4 grams
Total Fat: 20-40 grams
Saturated Fat: 6-14 grams
Cholesterol: 80-150 milligrams
Sodium: 600-1000 milligrams
Vitamins and Minerals: Southern-style oxtails provide essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C, primarily from the vegetables and oxtails.

Nutritional Considerations:

Calories: Southern-style oxtails can be relatively high in calories, primarily due to the meat and gravy. It’s crucial to be mindful of portion sizes, especially if you’re watching your calorie intake.
Protein: Oxtails are an excellent source of protein, contributing to muscle health and overall well-being. However, the total protein content can vary based on the serving size and the cut of oxtails.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates primarily come from side dishes like rice or mashed potatoes. You can make healthier carbohydrate choices by using brown rice or smaller portions.
Dietary Fiber: Dietary fiber content may vary depending on the inclusion of vegetables. Increasing the vegetable content can boost fiber intake, aiding in digestion.
Fats: Total fat content can vary widely based on the recipe and cooking methods. You can choose leaner cuts of oxtails to reduce fat content.
Saturated Fat: Saturated fat content may be a concern for those watching their heart health. Choosing lean cuts and trimming visible fat can help reduce saturated fat intake.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol content is primarily from the oxtails. Opt for lean cuts and practice portion control if you’re mindful of cholesterol intake.
Sodium: Southern-style oxtails can be relatively high in sodium, particularly if salt and high-sodium seasonings are used. Reducing added salt and using low-sodium ingredients can help manage sodium intake.

Tips for a Balanced Meal:

Choose lean cuts of oxtails and trim excess fat to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol.
Opt for whole grains like brown rice or quinoa as side dishes to increase fiber and nutrient content.
Load up on vegetables in the gravy to boost fiber and vitamin intake while reducing overall calorie intake.
Be mindful of added toppings like butter or gravy, which can increase calorie and fat content.
Control sodium by using low-sodium seasonings and broth to reduce overall salt intake.

Southern-style oxtails are a cherished dish in Southern cuisine, appreciated for their rich, comforting taste. Enjoying them as part of a balanced diet allows you to relish the flavors while nourishing your body with essential nutrients.

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