What is oxtail?

What is oxtail? Is it actually the tail of an ox?

Oxtail bone broth

In olden days oxtail came from the tail of an ox, but nowadays it comes from the tail of a cow or calf (male or female). Oxtails come cleaned, as bone-in cross sections of meat with marrow in the center. And since the tail is thick at one end and thin at the other, some pieces are meatier than others. They actually have very little meat overall, since oxtails consist of mainly bone, cartilage, and connective tissue. But the meat is gelatin-rich due to the high amount of collagen, so when cooked low and slow, the meat is tender and flavorful.

Oxtail soup (or stew) is likely the most well-known dish featuring oxtail, and versions are found worldwide. Wine-braised oxtail is commonplace, too. And given the collagen level, oxtail bone broth is quite popular.

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