“Oxtail”, “ox tail” or “ox-tail” refers to the lean and gelatinous meat present in the tail of a cattle. The meat of the steer, ox or any other male cattle is used in various oxtail recipes. This meaty ingredient normally weighs 2-4 lbs in weight and is mostly skinned and cubed for the purpose of sale. Also, the ingredient serves as the stock base during the preparation of stews and soups. Various oxtail recipes are cooked by slow cooking-braising and stewing the ox tail meat. In Italy a dish called coda alla vaccinara is prepared by using the oxtail. Similarly, Koreans use this ingredient to prepare kkori gomtang stew, which is mostly teamed with rice or bread and Africans team it with their greens. Butter bean- Oxtail stews are the popular amongst various oxtail recipes created across the globe. One or the other forms of oxtail preparations are enjoyed throughout the world.  It has been noted that most of the food traditions around earth make use of this ingredient in one or the other form. Various oxtail recipes are popular throughout Asian countries like Indonesia, Korea, China, and West Africa and South America.


Some specific guidelines are set by NAMO for cutting the oxtail and they should be strictly followed for maintaining the hygiene of the meat.  


History of Oxtail
The history of this meaty ingredient can be traced back to the time when men started consuming beef for the food. Then every part of the animal was used and the meat from tail was mainly used in the preparation of hearty soups.


Preferable Cooking Methods for Oxtail
Oxtail makes most flavorsome beef stock that’s why they have become integral part of many beef based stews and soups. These meaty ingredients derive their beefy and gelatinous flavor from collagen present in the tail bones. The slow braising is recommendable while dealing with many of the recipes. The slow braising helps to draw maximum flavor from the tail bones. The flavors of these meaty ingredients become strong in case of elaborative recipes which need lot of cooking time. Such meaty ingredients can be cooked in pressure cooker or crockpots depending on the recipe requirements. Veal, beef neck, shank, short rib, etc can be substituted in place of the oxtail.


Nutritive Value of Oxtail
About one ounce of the cooked oxtail soup serves you 42 calories. It is composed of 51% fat and 49% proteins. One cup of cooked beef oxtail serves you 350.95 calories with 30% fat, 47% cholesterol, 13% sodium, 10% potassium and 83% protein. Other than that traces of minerals like calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and copper are also found in various oxtail recipes.