Oxtails are the best of all the long-braising meats. It gives the most tender meat with enough extra collagen from the bones and connective tissue to give the most satisfying mouthfeel. It’s so rich and delicious that I like it even better than short ribs. Normally, either would take a few hours to cook, but the Instant Pot cuts that time way down.
I only bought a 2¼ lb package at the store today, but I probably could have fit another 2 lbs into the pot without having to layer.
I went for a simple flavor profile today, using everyday herbs and seasonings. But you could use some garam masala or jerk seasoning if you wanted to change it up. Also, I toasted some bread to soak up the gravy, but oxtails are also great served with any other starches you have on hand.
IP Duo 6-Qt: https://amzn.to/2HqHlK1
8 oz bacon, chopped
2 lbs beef oxtail pieces
salt & pepper
1 cup red onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery heart with leaves, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 TB fresh rosemary
3 TB fresh thyme
3 TB tomato paste
1 TB red wine vinegar
3 TB soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
3 TB flour + 3 TB water (to thicken the gravy)
1. Season the oxtails with salt and pepper.
2. On sauté mode, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost fully cooked. Reserve the bacon to be added back later. Add a little oil to the pot if you didn’t get enough fat from the bacon to sear the meat in the next step.
3. Sear the oxtails on all sides. Take your time and get a good brown crust on the beef. I you skip this step, the dish will still be tasty, but you’ll be missing out on some of the depth of flavor. Remove the meat to a plate while you continue to the next step.
4. Add onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies are just softened. Scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot as you stir. The veggies should give up enough liquid to do the job, but you can add a splash of water or broth if you need to help it along.
5. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another few minutes.
6. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, tomato paste, vinegar, and soy sauce. Stir for about 2 minutes until the pot smells very fragrant.
7. Add the beef broth, wine, and reserved bacon and stir to thoroughly distribute all the ingredients.
8. Nest the oxtails into the pot. The liquid should come up about halfway up the sides of the meat.
9. Lock the lid and cook on manual/high for 60 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release before quick-releasing the remaining pressure and opening the pot.
10. Use a spider to move the meat and veggies to a serving dish while you make a gravy.
11. To make the gravy, set your pot back to sauté. Mix equal parts flour and water to make a slurry and slowly whisk the mixture into the cooking liquid. Continue whisking and cook for about 5 minutes until the gravy thickens and the flour taste is cooked out.
12. Serve and enjoy!