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What is the white stuff on the perimeter of oxtails?

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Updated about 14 hours ago
Created April 11, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Question is pretty self explanatory, is the white stuff fat, gristle or something else?

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1197 · April 13, 2014 at 11:56 PM

I totally feel you about modern cockpots vs the antiques. The modern ones SUCK. I understand it is because there was a concern that the cooking temps were so low that bacteria could possibly breed - sorry, but if that were the case most of America would have died out because our parents generation were raised on slow cooker food! I've been looking for an old one at yard sales forever - no luck. I have a new Crockpot - I don't like it, but I use it when I'm making bone broth so I can feel safe about leaving the house w it on. But I'm NOT happy about it!

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1197 · April 13, 2014 at 11:51 PM

No, it's not at ALL fair that you get the great long cooking delicious cuts and heart steaks and organ meats! How do you prepare your kidneys? I love them grilled, but I wash them well in salted water, then I soak them in milk for a few hours before I put them on the grill. They can taste a little "sharp" otherwise. I STILL haven't found a way to enjoy liver, and I feel like a paleo reject!

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1252 · April 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Yes, yes. I discovered neck meat in Brazil, and now when we split the steer with the other families, no one wants it and we get it all the time. They don't want the liver, kidneys, and heart either (but we never get the oxtail). It is not fair, right?

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1197 · April 12, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Oh man sous vide - do you have an immersion circulator? Those are PRICEY! But what incredible beauty - duck sous vide is one of the most incredible things that you can put in your mouth. PERFECTION!

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26182 · April 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM

I have not tried pressure cooking. Right now I am getting back into sou vide cooking -- so that's my next thing.

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26182 · April 12, 2014 at 11:32 AM

I had my grandmother's crockpot that just recently died -- that thing was amazing you set the temperature you wanted to cook it at, the time you wanted to cook it (in hours), and the time you wanted it completed (in hours). So you could say, 225 for 6 hours in 10 hours. Set everything it would sit in a "Warmer" setting for four hours, and then cook. I do not understand why that doesn't exist anymore. I bought a high-end cuisinart (over $200) and that thing sucks. How is it that my grandmother's 1960s era crock pot is better than today's stuff?

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1197 · April 12, 2014 at 4:04 AM

I am lucky to work as I chose, from home - but when I didn't I would do braises like this on the weekends and re-heat them in different ways through the week. It's SUCH a bummer that slow cookers don't work the way they used to, keeping things at the perfect low temp. I haven't ventured into pressure cooking - that could be a solution to make these delicious meals quicker. Have you tried? I think that will be my next culinary experiment - pressure cooking

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26182 · April 12, 2014 at 2:04 AM

oven or stovetop is best. but that doesn't help if you are working all day.

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1197 · April 12, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Have you tried beef necks? They are still cheap and are soooo good! There is so much collagen in the resulting broth that I could pick up a handful of it, throw it at someone's head, and totally knock them out. Like a ROCK. Lamb necks too! At my local market the beef neck was just $5 a lb not on sale, and you get enough meat out of 2 lbs for a few meals - and LOTS of delicious gelatinous sauce

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1197 · April 12, 2014 at 12:35 AM

@Methodician - @CDone is right, you want to keep the temp very low and cook it for a longer time, that will take away the chewiness and just leave you with silky perfection that melts in your mouth! Most newer slow cookers actually cook too hot on low, and a little too low on warm. Legend says one should never boil a braise or a soup, it should always barely bubble, never a rolling, gurgle-y boil. That is why a very low oven is often the best to make these cheaper, delicious cuts. I just did beef necks this way and YUM!!!!!! You have to try BEEF NECKS if you like oxtails!

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690 · April 11, 2014 at 11:18 PM

Ain't that the truth? :(

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26182 · April 11, 2014 at 4:17 PM

I saw beef marrow bones for $10/lb. I was shocked! That's more then US Wellness. Can we go back to Paleo being a fad diet?

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26182 · April 11, 2014 at 4:16 PM

I mean stop the cooking at 5-6 hours. you slow cooker, I assume based upon your chewy oxtail, is probably doing what most cheaper ones do -- that is, it is slow cooking your meat, then boiling it, then keeping it warm. You do not want to boil oxtails. depending on your cooker, it's likely boiling it in the 7th hour (maybe 6th). So just stop the cooking before it boils.

Medium avatar
208 · April 11, 2014 at 4:08 PM

It is one of those great tasting things that at one time you couldn't give them away at the store, now they get a crazy premium price, especially grass fed ones.

Medium avatar
598 · April 11, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Mind elaborating? Why would you keep cooking the water/veg without the tail?

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26182 · April 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

do the same thing -- set crock pot on low for 8 hours except take them out at 5-6 hours.

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26182 · April 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

it is fat

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598 · April 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Wow I'm going to have to do it that way next time. I've been doing an 8-ish hour crock pot cook on low (after browning in pan) and it's giving me some amazing gelatin but the oxtail meat itself gets a little chewy.

Oh, and AnonCaveman... I think it's a little more gristly than most fat (contains more collagen). I'm just guessing because it makes the most thick, jiggly, super-gelatinous stew I've ever seen in my crockpot plus it has that texture you know... a little more like connective tissue.

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0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Mm, delicious! So is it fat or gristle, or a mixture of both?

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4991 · April 13, 2014 at 8:07 AM

The "white stuff" is fat and connective tissues, which melt down to make a wonderful, succulent sauce. Also, if cooked long enough, there is a load of gelatine in the bones which make the sauce even more super yummy.Google braised oxtail, or oxtail stew.

Here is one good recipe - I don't add any flour to it, and use dry cider instead of rioja (The cider adds a super flavour and is loads cheaper)

http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/rioja-braised-oxtail

And after eating the oxtail, keep the remaining bones to cook again for stock. I freeze them, then add them to chicken carcass bones for stock, or add to beef bones etc etc.

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0 · April 12, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Obviously it is Fat. Oxtail contains around 14 grams of Fat in 100 grams of serving where 6 grams consists of saturated fats. It also consists of Sodium, proteins and carbohydrates. Oxtail is mostly preferred as a part of stew and soup. Bone marrow in the oxtail is very useful for health and adds flavor to it. Hence it is mostly preferred as one of the ingredients in soup. Oxtail is one of the good sources of iron.

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1197 · April 11, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Fat. Fat doesn't always look the same - this is the exterior layer of tough, gristle-y fat that becomes silky and amazing with a long braise. If you don't know that the white stuff is fat, I am assuming you don't know how to cook oxtails - you can't just pop them in a pan for 10 minutes and then done - they need to be long cooked with spices and you'll have yourself an incredible meal. Brown them in a pan first, take them out of the pan and add chopped onions, carrots, and fennel (or celery) to the pan with salt/pepper. Once those start to caramelize, bring back the oxtails, throw in a couple of cloves of garlic and a sprig of thyme and a little rosemary - then add some broth or wine to cover the meat and cover the pan tightly. Put it in a 275 degree oven for 4 hours then check - the meat should fall off the bone. Low and slow cooking is the key to succulent oxtails. That layer of fat mixes with the onions, carrots, and fennel to create the most amazing sauce! Omigod I think I need to buy some oxtails for dinner tonight!

Medium avatar
598 · April 11, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Wow I'm going to have to do it that way next time. I've been doing an 8-ish hour crock pot cook on low (after browning in pan) and it's giving me some amazing gelatin but the oxtail meat itself gets a little chewy.

Oh, and AnonCaveman... I think it's a little more gristly than most fat (contains more collagen). I'm just guessing because it makes the most thick, jiggly, super-gelatinous stew I've ever seen in my crockpot plus it has that texture you know... a little more like connective tissue.

Cf4aec59514f92df5859151adb5b6ee8
0 · April 11, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Mm, delicious! So is it fat or gristle, or a mixture of both?

Medium avatar
208 · April 11, 2014 at 4:08 PM

It is one of those great tasting things that at one time you couldn't give them away at the store, now they get a crazy premium price, especially grass fed ones.

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