It’s been cold, and I’m craving comfort food. Amazing how that happens! Southern food is my go-to comfort food category since it was one of the cuisines I grew up on. You would think that made my recipe search easier, but you would be wrong. Searching “Southern” in my Pinterest boards pops up a lot of delicious-looking recipes, making the choice a tough one. But after hours of searching (kidding!), I settled on these Southern Smothered Oxtails. I’ve never had them this way, so it will be a somewhat new experience. But anything that’s covered in gravy has to be good, right? Let’s hope!
These oxtails are slow-cooked until they are fall-off-the-bone tender, then smothered in a homemade onion and garlic gravy. You can’t beat this flavor!
As you can see, there aren’t a lot of ingredients in this recipe. I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s full of inexpensive basics like flour, vegetable oil, and Worcestershire sauce. Pantry staples that I had on hand. That left me to shop for a few fresh items.
I recently read that oxtails have become a popular ingredient in homemade stock and bone broth. That explains why they have gone from an inexpensive cut to $6.99 a pound. On the plus side, they are easier to find, and I’ve noticed meatier cuts.
The photo below shows about a pound of the oxtails in a range of sizes. This is a great example of how oxtails can vary in size. In the past, I’ve even found much smaller pieces than the smallest shown. These bigger pieces are much, much nicer.
I have to say this recipe was easy to make. I’m sure that’s no surprise since there are so few ingredients. There’s was a bit of a trade-off, though, since it had to slow cook for hours. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 20 minutes to prep
- 8 hours to cook
- 8 hours 20 minutes total
That was exactly what was listed on the recipe, and I was happy about that. Not so happy that I had to get up super early to allow it to cook all day, but I’ll get over it.
Things went according to the instructions at first, but I ended up with really thick gravy. Even after adding all the beef broth it was almost as thick as peanut butter. I hoped the condensation in the crockpot would add moisture, but that didn’t happen fast enough.
The gravy was starting to burn and stick to the sides, so I added an extra cup of water after 3 hours. That got things rolling, and I had a nice gravy by the time the oxtails were done. Not too thin or too thick, and it clung to the oxtails as gravy should.