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lindag

Oxtail Soup

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Posted (edited)

Recently watched Ina Garten prepare this soup.  So I went to my nearby grocer looking for the oxtails (thinking forward to when it's cooled down enough to think about hot soup).

I was surprised to be told that they do not stock oxtails but that they could order them for me...it would take two weeks and they would be very expensive.  I know that I used to be able to buy them when I lived in Portland.

So, even if I can't use oxtails I thought I'd like to make a variation of this recipe, substituting another cut for the oxtails and replacing the barley (which I don't care for).  

Yeah, I know, it won't be the same recipe, but I thought it still might be worth a try.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Edited by lindag (log)

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I do it all the time.

Get neck bones. 1/4 the price. Same taste.

If you want to spend a little more, short ribs.

 

dcarch

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Regional differences are interesting.  I see ox tails here all the time (but not chuck eye).  I love them.  My mother was a great soup maker and when she made ox tail soup she used beans, kidney beans as I recall, not barley and also used noodles, like spaghetti noodles.

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9 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Regional differences are interesting.  I see ox tails here all the time (but not chuck eye).  I love them.  My mother was a great soup maker and when she made ox tail soup she used beans, kidney beans as I recall, not barley and also used noodles, like spaghetti noodles.

Thanks, I like the idea of using beans; way better than barley, I'll give that a try.

Also, when I'm in town I'll try a different store for the oxtails, that one has a better meat dept.

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Posted (edited)

You could look for a butcher shop with beef carcasses rather than boxed meat. Or contact local small abattoirs or farm-gates offering their own frozen beef. Asian stores usually have oxtails.


Edited by jayt90 (log)
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Shin might be a good option.

 

I love oxtail, but it's ludicrously expensive here too.  When you factor in how much you're paying for bone and fat, it works out more expensive than fillet or ribeye...  And that's without factoring in the 5 hours of cooking time >:(

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When they were cheap, oxtails were a neat substitute braising cut that would save a few bucks. But now that oxtails have gotten stupid expensive and I've never found them at a price worth it for what you get. Remember, whatever price per pound you see them at, multiply by ~3 for a similar yield to whole muscle meat. In almost all circumstances, chuck, brisket, shank or cheek is going to be better value.

 

The only time I ever absolutely have to have oxtail is for my oxtail ragu ravioli. They're braised in just a tiny bit of red wine + aromatics and there's nothing quite as unctuous, the texture is almost like an egg yolk. It takes all day to make but it's so intense that I only serve 3 - 4 per person so one batch can last for quite a few dinner parties when stored in the freezer.

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One of the few times I can say I'm awfully glad I was born into a an income-challenged family.  Ate a lot of ox tails in my time. Delicious.  Now when I am a bit less income-challenged I can't afford them! Now ain't that ironic?  xD

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Remember my grandmother making oxtail soup.  It was a favorite. All the family members still have a soft spot for them

 

Yeah back then it was  cheap, plentiful and more in the soul food category and not popular unless you were in the know

 

I love them and still make them but have been doing long SV cooking over stove top cooking and using the meat in different applications 

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1 hour ago, Anna N said:

One of the few times I can say I'm awfully glad I was born into a an income-challenged family.  Ate a lot of ox tails in my time. Delicious.  Now when I am a bit less income-challenged I can't afford them! Now ain't that ironic?  xD

 

Maybe that is why we had them as often as we did.  Lord knows, our family was not flush with cash either.

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Posted (edited)

I was shopping around online looking for white truffle butter and went to the D'artagnan website.

I found Oxtails!  but look at the price!!!  Never mind.


Edited by lindag (log)
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There is only one tail per animal!:B

but, still seems expensive for what you get

they have us over a barrel

supply and demand, just like chicken wing prices.

dang

still good though

just buy them

life is short:$

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I don't understand why they don't sell in smaller quantities.  I could justify a few pounds but appx. 15 pounds is more than I want or have room to store.

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@lindag I think you (or I) have misread the quantity! The ad says 1.25 to 1.5 pound (note the "point") and not 15 pounds. This, from what I gather, is $200.00 for one (1) tail. At that price I doubt they sell many of them! Here in my city and at my butcher they are also bloody expensive at around Rand 200.00 + per tail, which equates to about $15 + for a tail and is definitely way more expensive than a prime beef fillet. The days of purchasing a tail, for me at least, are way in the past. However, the other day I purchased two lamb shanks at a cost of around $13 and had a magnificent meal with left-overs for sandwiches the next day. I equate lamb shanks to oxtail in flavour and tenderness when properly cooked - both have that high intense flavour and aroma!

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I also interpreted @lindag's link to be $199 for 1.25 to 1.5 pounds, but perhaps I'm wrong, if it means 12 packages of that weight. I took it to mean the tail was cut into 12 pieces, including the very bony couple cut from the end of the tail in the linked photo. There seemed no way to clarify further on the website. Either way, only something I think a restaurant would be interested in.

 

These tails used to be given away to poor folks. Lobster used to be fed to prisoners. Ground beef used to be a budget meat. Things sure have changed. At least in this country, the poor have a nearly impossible row to hoe these days. 

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 I was a little taken aback too. But it actually says 12 pieces EACH 1.25 to 1.5 pounds.    Logic tells me that if you cut an ox tail into 12 pieces none of them could possibly weigh 1.25 pounds. So I take it it is 12 packages of ox tail each weighing between 1.25  and 1.5 pounds. That puts the cost of the meat somewhere around $13 per pound.  Math is not my strong suit so I'm happy to be corrected. 

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Anna, you are most probably correct - or I hope you are. The confusing part is that an oxtail has around 12 "vertebrae" and a tail does weigh around 1.25 to 1.5 lb. The ad should then read 15lb oxtail in 12 portioned packs each weighing 1.25 to 1.5 lb. As the ad stands, it is quite confusing to me. Anyway, I hope that whoever purchases some of those packs trims off the excess fat before cooking it up - the photo does show you would be buying a lot of very expensive fat! But that is something different - I still love oxtail in both a soup or slow-cooked form, but find it way too expensive.

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Back in the early 80s, oxtail and flank steak were my go-to cheap cuts. IIRC oxtail was then .79/lb and flank was .99/lb. Then, almost from one week to the next it seemed, they were "discovered" and the price rose tenfold. Now, of course, it's nearly twice that. 

 

The last time I checked (here in Atlantic Canada) my local supermarket was flogging oxtail at $14.99/lb and flank steak at $16.99. Needless to say, neither is a regular purchase any longer. 

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Posted (edited)

Frozen / 12 Pieces (1.25-1.5 lb avg each)   $199.99 

This is exactly what it says.  I calculated 12 pieces at 1.25 lb. (appx) each piece, would arrive at about 15 pounds.

That comes to a bit more than $13. per lb.

 

Still, I'd bite if the quantity was smaller just so I could try them out.

IIRC, Ina used six oxtails in for her soup....that's at East Hampton prices!

 

 
Angus Beef Oxtail
 

Edited by lindag (log)
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22 hours ago, lindag said:

I found Oxtails!  but look at the price!!!

 

Wegmans carries them here, but they are expensive! :(

Years ago, they were dirt cheap! 

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When I lived in New Mexico in the 60's and 70's oxtails were perfect if you wanted to make a green chile with beef instead of pork. Oxtails make such a rich broth all you needed in addition was an onion, some roasted Hatch chiles, and a few potatoes and you had the best Bowl of Green. But the price is so discouraging now I rarely buy them. Oxtails also contribute to a fabulous pho broth, which I haven't made in a few years either. Sounds awfully good, though, and winter is coming. Well, not for a few months yet here in the Bay Area. Although hundred degree weather never stopped any New Mexican from diving into a bowl of chile, especially this time of year when the harvest was in full swing. Yum. Truth to tell I don't think I could handle the heat levels I used to routinely tolerate in green chile. 

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12 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

When I lived in New Mexico in the 60's and 70's oxtails were perfect if you wanted to make a green chile with beef instead of pork. Oxtails make such a rich broth all you needed in addition was an onion, some roasted Hatch chiles, and a few potatoes and you had the best Bowl of Green. But the price is so discouraging now I rarely buy them. Oxtails also contribute to a fabulous pho broth, which I haven't made in a few years either. Sounds awfully good, though, and winter is coming. Well, not for a few months yet here in the Bay Area. Although hundred degree weather never stopped any New Mexican from diving into a bowl of chile, especially this time of year when the harvest was in full swing. Yum. Truth to tell I don't think I could handle the heat levels I used to routinely tolerate in green chile. 

Just picked me up some,   was in ABQ   last weekend  ..good idea!!!

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What is causing the prices to go through the roof like this?  Is there some trendy fad recipe everybody is making that I've just never heard of?  Has Campbell's Soup cornered the market? I'm perplexed.

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