Week 3 – Days 22 & 23 – Oxtails!

OK!  I can feel the disappointment each day I don’t timely post.  Mea culpa!

Yesterday I started the experiment with OXTAIL … and the beginning of an oxtail soup or soup base. Mixed results, but lots of learning experiences.  Oh goodie! how I love such “experiences” JK

1st lesson: check the total weight of your Sam’s Club oxtail package before putting them ALL into the pot to brown.  Pressure cooker book suggested 2 lbs, after finding a very tight fit, checked the plastic wrap to find I had almost 4 lbs ….
2nd lesson: when you realize you have too much meat in the pot to brown – take out 1/2 NOW.  Don’t wait and see how it goes …
3rd lesson: one needs cheese cloth or one of those mesh things to keep some of the spices together and make them easy to remove – the decision to toss them in, may have lead to a bitter stock
4th lesson: watch the pressure to ensure you did not turn the heat down too far … the meat should come off the bone without need for very sharp knives and lots of elbow grease and a properly set mouth.

Ingredients:  oxtail, olive oil, sage – herbes de provence, black pepper corns and 2 bay leaves in a bouquet garni, one onion, two stalks of celery, two cans of Guiness or another dark beer, 3 cups of water.


  • Brown oxtail in the oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Ensure the pieces are browned on all sides and that you haven’t over-crowed the pot (see lessons 1 & 2 above)
  • Remove the meat and set aside
  • Cut the onions in half then quarters, slice the celery – add both to the pot and cook until the onions are softened.  (3 to 6 minutes)
  • Add the spices (see lesson 3 above about the bouquet — oh well), the meat, the beer and the water and cover and latch the pot
  • Bring up to pressure and turn down to the lowest heat that will maintain pressure (see lesson 4) and cook for 35 minutes – Use the natural release method to de-pressurize.
  • Remove the meat and allow to cool
  • Strain the remaining broth to remove the vegetables and spices (colander with cheese cloth); discard the vegetables
  • Remove the meat from the bones and add back into the broth.
Now you are ready to make a soup – adding root vegetables or what ever you have in the pantry/freezer.  I will be adding collard greens and left-over frozen root veggies.  That is today’s project.  The oxtail did not come off the bone well – probably because I did not cook them long enough.  Tasty bits that I did remove.  I have the other half of the browned oxtail in the freezer – next time a hotter simmer.
Still working on the pomegranates — beginning to eye the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and to think about baking (egads) with the pips, cranberries and chocolate … just thinking, but I did notice a packet of yeast in the pantry … and there is a plethora of flour in the freezer … and the mixer is just sitting there staring at me!