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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Oxtail Imposter: My New Favorite Oxtail Stand In




I was at the grocer in Lynchburg, which is about 40 minutes from where I live and ran across these gems and I was most pleased with the results.  I was browsing about in the meats section, when I thought about some oxtails.  They can run rather expensive and I was hoping to catch them on sale.  I actually don't think I've ever seen them on sale, reduced yes, on sale, nope...Anywho, since I get them for special comfort meals, a couple times a year, usually in the cooler months, I decided to pass, for another time when they were more in my head than on my mind.
I noticed the cow neck bones nearby and became intrigued.  I couldn't recall a time that I'd seen them for sale, pork, yes, but not beef.  I figured they would be full of flavor because of the lean to bone ratio and would render a lot of collagen goodness when cooked down to the jus.  Best of all, it was only a fraction of the cost of the oxtail. I said to self, 'What the Hell,  let's give it a go'.
I washed the cow necks in cold water and placed them in my Ninja Foodi on pressure cook mode. I made sure I threw in major aromatics like whole garlic cloves, celery and onion . I also added about 1 cup, mini sweet peppers; red, orange and yellow.   I added a bay leaf as well and some bouillon with water, enough to cover.
I pressure cooked the beefy bones for 1 1/2 hours.  After that, I placed them on sear/saute to render the juices down to a sultry broth, composed mostly of  the broken down veggies.
Once reduced, I was left with an amazingly tender and most delicious oxtail contender. There was an unctuous broth filled with beefy flavor and delight.  This is a dish you can cool and refrigerate, then remove the excess fat that has solidified.  Then you will be left with a hearty dish to consume with nice crusty bread or potatoes if you wish.  I used sandwich bread to envelope the goodness, it was most satisfying. The lush chunks of meat slide easily off the bones, bathed in it's own succulent gravy.
My sisters Bonnie, Hollie and Gayle loved it too!  We now have another comfort food dish for our culinary repertoires.
Cow Neck Bones can really stand in for an amazing and rustic meal, full of flavor and high on delivery.  I guess it's just the Country in me, but I think it's most definitely here to stay in my comfort food rolodex.

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