This is a partnership between Houseful Of Nicholes & Scholze Farms
Listen – oxtail stew is a luxury around these parts because of the cost of oxtail, BUT we found Scholze Farms in Wisconsin that offers reasonable prices, and we want to share them with you WHILE offering a simple recipe to make those oxtails into the most flavorful and simple oxtail stew this side of heaven. I stand behind my statement.
Also – if you just want the recipe and no background of this farmer and his family just click jump to recipe and you’ll be happy, but I’m going to talk aromatics, rendering of oxtail fat and the reason we remove the meat from the bones.
Scholze (SHOAL-zee) Farm is a family farm located in Humbird, Wisconsin and run by two brothers, Theo & Will along with their wives Sarah and Becky. They raise dairy and beef cattle, as well as the feed that the cattle consume from about 1700 acres of soybean, alfalfa, and wheat. They are the third generation of farmers to lead this and are mixing things up a bit by adding a storefront that offers beef, chicken, pork, and add-ons such as seasoning. They have partnered with other farmers in the area to provide the chicken and pork. In a desire to provide diversity to their local community AND small shipments to Wisconsin and the Chicagoland area, the store was born. I’m grateful for it, and the fact that I can order beef and have it to my door in two days. PERFECT for the upcoming holiday season!
Brisket may be in our view soon. Christmas brisket, I can taste it right now. Slow cooked on the grill to perfection. Sliced up in neat little piles for each and every plate in the houseful. Yum!
Anyway, we’ll be talking about Scholze Farms and their offerings for the next year, and it makes me so happy. Mostly because I’m a fan of red meat whether it’s grilled, braised, or seared in a cast-iron skillet. It’s all delicious.
Know that if you are in the delivery zone, you’ll receive your order frozen and packed with dry ice and other insulation to ensure that nothing is compromised door to door. We received chuck, rump, and sirloin tip roasts, oxtails, skinless weiners, ground beef and a tomahawk steak that I can’t WAIT to show off! If you’re in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the UP, North & South Dakota, Nebraska or Iowa, you can order beef, pork, and chicken packages too!
Oxtail is a cut of beef (the tail) which was deemed too hard to cook back in the day, which meant that those who were poor were the only ones who asked for it from the local butcher. But like any good thing, rich folks realized that it tastes good, so the prices have skyrocketed in most grocery stores, so buying direct from farmers helps to cut out that middle-man.
Most oxtail recipes for families as large as mine require 5 pounds or more. It also means that I must love my family a lot to cook it. My family better be glad that I love them so much.
The reason this recipe works so well is that you roast your oxtail in the oven at high heat before adding it to your stew. This does a couple of things. Allows you to prep simultaneously to cut down on that pre-stew time, AND gives your oxtail that PERFECT caramelization without you having to flip pieces and then remove them to make room for the second or third or fourth batches. It also gives you a way to collect all of the rendered fat without it burning away. While you are using more than one cooking dish, it’s worth it. Y’all know I love my one-pot dishes.
We also go heavy on the aromatics to provide balance for that rich taste that will come from the fat of the oxtail, and the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s perfect. Yes, we triple up in the alium family with leeks, onions AND garlic, but as you know, I do what I want.
I know that removing the meat from the bone seems counterintuitive, but it allows me to stretch an expensive cut of meat a long way. Instead of people scrambling to get the largest oxtail, they all get equal amounts of meat in each serving. If you don’t have as many folks in your house as I do, feel free to leave the meat on the bone and feel a little more polished.
Simple Oxtail Stew
This thick, rich oxtail stew may take a bit of time to cook in the oven, but you'll love the results
- 5 lbx oxtail
- olive oil
- 2 medium leeks
- 2 sticks of celery
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 medium onion
- 2 sprigs of thyme OR 1 tsp ground thyme
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary OR 1 tsp of dried rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 rounded tablespoons flour
- 1 28 oz cans of whole plum tomatoes
- 1.5 cups of merlot or other full-bodied red wine.
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & Pepper for seasoning
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and place a large sheet pan in the oven to preheat.
2. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, then add the oxtail. Season with salt & pepper & drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat and place in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until perfectly caramelized.
3. While your oxtail is roasting, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways, then chop into roughly. Chop your onion as well, and mince your garlic. Peel and chop the carrots into 1-inch pieces,
4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-low heat.
5. Combine all of the vegetables in your dutch oven and saute until cooked down.
6. Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves ( or your ground herbs) then add the bay, and paprika then cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.
7. Remove caramelized oxtail from the oven and set aside.
8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF
9. Add the cloves and flour to the vegetables, stirring well to soak up any oil left on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and wine.
10. Add the oxtail and all of the juices that may be present, cover with the beef stock and stir well.
11. Bring the pot to a boil then cover and place in the oven for 5 hours, or until the oxtail falls from the bone easily. Keep an eye on the liquid level to make sure you're not scorching your stew. You'll want to check every hour or so.
12. After the meat has become tender, remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the bay leaves, and the meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones.
13. Add a splash of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, season to taste, and enjoy with rice, mashed potatoes, or peas & rice!
Oxtail is VERY fatty - and SHOULD BE! That's where the flavor comes in. I suggest making the recipe step by step your very first time and then playing around with your flavors. Maybe adding brown sugar or fresh ginger to the mix. The sky is the limit!
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The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the stew to cook in the oven. Your house is going to smell amazing. I promise. You’ll want to start gobbling up the rich sauce that is created about halfway through.
Don’t. You’ll thank me later.
If you happen to make this recipe, please tag us on social to show us! I’d love to see it!