Oxtail is a kind of bony, rich meat, used to prepare several delicacies all over the world. It is usually slow-cooked to make stew, or it is used as a base for soups. In Italy, Oxtail is the main ingredient of the Italian dish “Coda Alla Vaccinara”, a native delicacy loved by many. Oxtail is also a popular flavor for premade canned soups in the UK and Canada. It doesn’t matter what part of the planet you’re on, or on which continent you reside, you’re sure to find one or two Oxtail delicacies there. This meat is loved by many and is always expensive due to its high demand.
What Animal Does Oxtail Come From?
Oxtail is the kitchen name for the tail of cattle. It doesn’t really matter if the tail originally belonged to an Ox or not. So long as that piece of meat came from a cattle’s tail, it is termed “Oxtail”. There was a time the name was used to refer to meat gotten from an Ox’s tail only, but today it refers to meat cut out of cow or ox, whether it’s an adult or a calf.
What Exactly Is An Oxtail?
Oxtail is the meat gotten from the tail of a cattle. It can be cattle of either sex and any age. An Oxtail typically weighs between 7 and 8 pounds. They are usually skinned and cut into short lengths for sale.
One unique thing about oxtails is that they always have a center bone running down the center of the entire tail. This bone is very soft and can be called a biscuit bone. The bone is surrounded by fatty beef, and this makes oxtails very delicious and crunchy when eaten.
Oxtails always have a kind of unique flavor, and no matter what delicacy it is used to prepare (whether soup or stew), the flavor always stands out. Oxtail is full of connective tissue and also very rich in collagen, so it always thickens soups, stews, and any meal it is cooked with.
Is Oxtail A Healthy Meat To Eat?
Oxtail is very healthy meat, and quite nutritious too. Before the meat is sold, it is usually skinned and cut into small portions. However, before you season and cook oxtails, ensure that they are properly cleaned.
Asides from the large chunks of meat that surround the central bone, oxtails also have traces of fat around the bone. Some health experts would suggest that you trim off the excess fat to make the meat more healthy (less cholesterol), but that isn’t really necessary.
Oxtails are packed with protein, and also contain collagen (which has been proven to improve muscular strength after tedious workouts). So whether you trim off excess fat or not, an Oxtail is a very healthy meat. In fact, the traces of fat only improve the flavor, taste, and oily texture of the meat.
Nutritional Value Of Oxtails
Oxtails are used in a variety of cuisines in several countries like Jamaica, China, Italy, and the rest. It is most often used in cooking soups or stews, as the fat, cartilage, and bone marrow always add plenty of flavor and taste.
But the unique flavor and taste of Oxtails isn’t the only thing that makes the meat highly sought after. Another thing that makes oxtails so popular and so valuable, is the nutritional value/contents of this meat.
An Oxtail is gelatin-rich meat: Meaning it has very high gelatin contents. Gelatin is an uncommon protein usually obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and bones in water. It is always found in the connective tissue of pigs and cattle.
Gelatin is a very rich protein with unique amino acids. It has many potential health benefits: It is thought to treat joint pains and bone pains, increase brain function, and also reduce the risk of skin aging.
Asides from gelatin, here are other things you benefit from (nutrition-wise), when you eat oxtails.
Oxtails are rich in calories. It is estimated that a 100-gram serving of Oxtail contains about 260 calories. Out of these 260 calories, half of it comes from fat. However, since oxtails are usually served as part of a larger dish (soups and stews), the number of calories gotten from a dish of Oxtail will largely depend on the other ingredients/constituents of the meal.
Fats And Cholesterol
A 100-gram serving of Oxtail contains about 14-34 grams of total fat. Out of this, only 5-6 grams are saturated fats. It is also important to note that oxtails do not contain any trans fats. Also, one whole serving of Oxtail is said to contain about 141 milligrams of cholesterol. But then again, since oxtails are usually made into soups and stews, these values may vary.
Sodium, Protein, And Carbohydrates
A 100-gram serving of Oxtail contains about 233 milligrams of sodium as well as 32 grams of protein. This healthy combination of sodium and protein makes oxtails unique, as it is more than you can say for most animal meat parts. The amount of protein in an Oxtail is about two-thirds of the daily protein requirement for a 2000 calorie diet.
Asides from the aforementioned constituents, oxtails also contain substantial amounts of calcium (about 10 milligrams per 100g serving). It is also a very good source of Iron, as it contains about 3.6 milligrams of iron per 100g serving. Again, these values can be increased by adding a variety of vegetables and ingredients to whatever soup or stew the oxtails are used for.
Other vitamins and nutrients found in Oxtails include:
1. Vitamin B12: Oxtails contain about 2.8 micrograms of Vitamin B12 (which is about 70% of the Required Dietary Allowance).
2. Vitamin B3 (Niacin): This vitamin plays a huge role in cancer prevention. Oxtails contain 3.15 milligrams of Niacin, which amounts to about 21% of your RDA (Required Dietary Allowance).
3. Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2 is essential for blood health and cell protection. Oxtails give 0.23 milligrams of Vitamin B2, which is about 18% of your Required Dietary Allowance.
4. Vitamin B5: This vitamin I’d essential to synthesize and metabolize fats, proteins, and Carbohydrates. Oxtail gives about 0.8 milligrams of Vitamin B5, and this is 17% of your RDA.
5. Zinc: Zinc is a huge contributor to immune system health, hood eyesight, cell division, and protection, amongst other things. Oxtails give 7mg of zinc per 100g serving, and this is about 55% of your RDA.
Different Countries And There Unique Oxtail Delicacies
|ITALY||Coda Alla Vaccinara, Guazzeto|
|JAMAICA||Special Oxtail Stew|
|AMERICA||Braised Oxtail Stew|
|KOREA||Kkori Gomtang (Oxtail soup)|
|CUBA||Rabo Encendido (Oxtail Stew)|
|IRAN||Baghla-poli-mahicheh (special Oxtail dish)|
Why Are Oxtails So Expensive?
When it comes to preparation, oxtails consume a lot of time. The meat has to be skinned first before it is diced up into small chunks and sold. Another thing that makes Oxtails expensive is the high demand. Due to the many delicacies, it is used for, oxtails are always in high demand throughout the year. But since it is only a small portion of the cow, its price has skyrocketed greatly, because the limited supply cannot meet the high demand.
In summary, the limited availability, high demand, and difficulty in preparation are the 3 main reasons for the high cost of oxtails. A pound of Oxtail can cost anywhere from $5 – $10, depending on the quality of the meat.