What Does Oxtail Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Do Oxtails Taste Like?

Oxtail has a rich and deep meaty flavor, brimming with umami. Most describe the taste of oxtail to be like beef. It is tender and soft meat. With large amounts of collagen, oxtail is rich in gelatin which gives the dishes a smooth consistency. 

Here is a well-researched guide to what Oxtail exactly tastes like.

Rare experience and the expertise of chefs around the world will help you discover this unique and widely relished Jamaican delicacy. 

Let’s start! 

What Is Oxtail?

Oxtail essentially refers to the tail of beef and cattle.

Even though the word only refers to the tail of an ox, the tail of most cattle is consumed and referred to as oxtail irrespective of gender.

The skin of the cattle is removed and the tail is cut into small palatable pieces. 

Stewed Oxtail is a relished delicacy in Jamaica. Similar cuisines are enjoyed around the world like in South America, West Africa, China, Korea, and the Philippines. 

What Do Oxtails Taste Like?

Oxtails have a rich and meaty taste, similar to that of beef. It is distinctly tender and tastes different from any other kind of meat. Oxtails are also often compared to short ribs, but softer and richer in flavor. 

The tails of beef and veal are the most suitable for this tender cuisine as the meat from different parts of these creatures tastes evidently different and delicious. Oxtails have become a delicacy and comfort food for their flavors and availability. 

The gelatin present in the bones and cartilage needs to be slow-cooked in low heat for a very long time for all the flavors and essence to be detectable in the cuisine.

The gravy prepared with oxtails is an especially loved part of the entire dish with its richness from the fat present in them. 

Know how Oxtails became a Jamaican delicacy!

What Is The Texture Of Oxtail?

Oxtails have a tough and chewy texture that changes to soft and tender once the oxtails are cooked. The connective tissues, cartilages, and bones present in this part of the mammal’s body need to be slow-cooked in moist heat for at least four hours. 

This texture is very similar to that of ribs, silky smooth, and melts into your mouth when cooked correctly. 

Do Oxtails Taste Good?

Oxtails are considered a delicacy in many places with their rich and flavorful taste. The connective tissues and gelatin present in oxtails give it the perfect umami flavors with added tender meat like soft beef. The appropriate size of the pieces, once the tail is cut, makes it more palatable.

Oxtails taste best when cooked in broth.

The bone, though tough releases its savory essence when slow-cooked making the broth smoother.  

What Does Braised Oxtail Taste Like?

Braised oxtail is considered a delicacy in Italian, Jamaican, and Russian cuisines with its rich and warm umami flavors. The tender oxtail meat when slow-cooked with added condiments like onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and required spices gives it a distinct beef-like smooth texture.

Usually served with rice or mashed potatoes to soak in all the appetizing gravy which is thickened by the fat present in the oxtails themselves. 

Does Oxtail Have a Gamey Taste?

No, Oxtail does not have the musky pungent taste which is prominent in game-shot meat or venison. Oxtail has a rich beef-like taste but is richer and tenderer. Its texture is very close to that of short ribs.

Unlike game meats which tend to be tough, Oxtail is rather moist and soft.

However, both Oxtails and game meats have the common feature of a long cooking time. The meat needs to be cooked in slow heat for it to be properly relished.   

Can You Eat Oxtails Raw?

Oxtails are not meant to be consumed raw. Raw Oxtails are extremely tough and chewy and pose the risk of harmful bacteria and viruses transmitting to your body. Consuming any form of raw meat is highly hazardous, even if the meat or any part of the animal looks clean. It must be cooked.

Raw Oxtail has a musky and iron-like taste that is not palatable. It must be slow-cooked for its rich umami flavors to develop.   

What Does Oxtail Soup Taste Like?

Oxtail soup is one of the most extensively made oxtail dishes made because of its rich and savory flavors. Oxtails can be prepared by marinating them in herbs, spices, or wine for up to 48 hours or can be directly placed inside a slow-cooker under pressure with spices and vegetables.

The expected tender texture and umami taste can only be relished once the oxtail pieces are thoroughly cooked. The soup itself can be served with rice or bread.   

This simple yet luscious Oxtail stew is worth it!   

Is Oxtail Meat Tough?

Oxtail meat is very tough when raw but when cooked for an appropriate amount of time, turns tender and smooth. It must be cooked for 4 hours for all its internal flavors to develop and for it to tenderize. Oxtail meat must be fully cooked or it may seem tough.

It is recommended to cook Oxtails in a soup or broth-based dish.

This would allow for the meat to become tender and the infused fat to melt to make the broth smooth and savory.   

How Are Oxtails And Beef Shank Different?

There is not much difference in the taste of Oxtails and Beef shank. Both have a hearty rich and palatable flavor. Oxtails, however, do not provide a large quantity of meat because of the presence of tissues, cartilages, and bone. 

Beef shank has the same rich taste and low fat making it perfect as grounded meat.

The shank also has more meat compared to the tail. 

What Do Oxtails Taste Best With?

Oxtails seem to taste best with a light side dish like rice, mashed potatoes, and bread. Most Oxtail platters have heavy gravy that needs an additional carbohydrate.

Oxtails have a rich umami flavor which needs them to be paired with something that can balance the dish and also soak in excess flavors.    

In The End

I hope this descriptive taste guide helped you understand the taste of Oxtail.

I would love for you to get back to me with any queries or feedback!

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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.