If you have never dug your fingers and teeth into a juicy piece of oxtail you have not lived. Growing up with parents from different cultures including the Caribbean, oxtail was a dish we enjoyed repeatedly. People in the Caribbean and Latin America have been indulging in oxtail for centuries and you know what, those little old ladies were right!
The oxtail I grew up eating and enjoy today is a powerhouse of nutrients not just a bunch of fatty meat. When prepared as a stew these hunky chunks of goodness create a nutritious gelatinous broth that can be used for cooking or frozen for later use. It is one of my favorite meals and when I was bedbound on and off and not feeling like eating anything, this was my go-to meal.
The gelatinous broth is great to use for stews, soups, sauces, and even for boiling vegetables. People who don’t follow a grain-free diet can also use broth instead of water to prepare rice, sprouted beans, and quinoa.
When prepared properly, broth made from grass-fed cow feet, knuckle bones, oxtail, chicken heads/feet, etc.., contains a great number of minerals (magnesium, silicon, sulfur, calcium, phosphorus ) that are easily absorbed by our body and work wonders for healing and sealing our gut according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
Broth also contains the “broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.” Source
At home when I am able to, I make about 15 quarts of broth every two weeks. I use my secret elixir for everything you can think of, even for making homemade pet food. People with MCAS should be careful however as broth made from pastured animal parts is a high histamine food and can cause reactions. I’ve seen this a lot with families living in mold and also those dealing with Lyme disease.
Now back to the oxtail. After you stew it you will be left with lots of yummy broth. Once refrigerated the broth will turn into gelatin due to the high collagen content in the oxtail.
To make a delicious oxtail stew here is what you will need. Note that this is not a detailed (set-in-stone) recipe, so feel free to add and make adjustments as you go.
3 pounds grass-fed oxtail
1 pound organic carrots (chopped thick)
1 cup chopped herbs I like using fennel, thyme, onions, garlic, and scallions
2 Tbsp homemade curry or store-bought
5-6 cups bone broth, vegetable stock, or filtered water
1 cup chopped or crushed tomatoes
1.5 cups pure tomato paste (no sugar or citric acid) **Citric acid is used to preserve food but it is often derived from GMO corn and if you are following a grain-free diet you definitely want to stay away from citric acid, not to mention toxic GMO’s.
Pure sea salt to taste
1/3 cup of jaggery, brown sugar, maple syrup, or coconut nectar.
**Optional for a Paleo version** Add in 1 cup of chopped organic sweet potatoes once the stew has cooked for 2-3 hours
**Optional – Add in a few chicken feet as you prepare your oxtail as that will add to the collagen content.
**For AIP version** omit the tomatoes and tomato puree and use 1 cup of beet juice and chopped celeriac root
What you’ll need for your Preparation Station:
Slow cooker or Instant Pot
Lots of love and some music!
Note for non-Paleo/GAPS eaters
Prior to starting the GAPS protocol for my husband, when I would make oxtail I would always caramelize red onions with ghee, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Then I’d add in fresh garlic, chopped jalapenos, and my oxtail. I would cook each piece of oxtail for about five minutes on each side: doing this adds another level of flavor. After that, I would toss it in the slow cooker and cook it as mentioned below. Serving this over rice is absolutely delicious. For added yumminess, make your rice using broth and throw in some chopped ginger and curry while it cooks.
Place all of your ingredients into your slow cooker, give it a whirl, cover it, and place it on high for 5-6 hours. If you’re using your Instant Pot, place everything inside and cook on the low heat setting for 60 minutes. Times may vary based on models.
Once the stew is ready I like eating it for breakfast or as a late-night snack. What better way to start or end the day than with gut-healing goodness! When my children were toddlers I would mash up the carrots and sweet potatoes, add in lots of broth and oxtail meat and give it to them for lunch. My oldest now a teenager enjoys his oxtail to this day and loves it! This is great food for growing children.
Hope you’ll be inspired to make your own Gut Healing Oxtail Stew. I found that this dish really sits well with me especially when I am dealing with yucky health symptoms. It is very nourishing and healing.
God bless you and yours.
Let me know what you think.