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Oxtail Stew: A Rich and Tender Dish to Celebrate Your New Arrival

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When I came home from the hospital after giving birth to my baby, the first meal I had was a warm and comforting oxtail stew. It was the most delicious and satisfying dish I could imagine, and it felt like the perfect food to nourish my body and soul.

Bowl of oxtail stew on wooden table with tea towel and wooden spoon

Oxtail stew is one of my favourite dishes, especially in the cold winter months here in Castlemaine. There is something magical about how oxtails transform into melt-in-your-mouth tender meat when they are slowly simmered in a rich broth with aromatic spices. I love Jamie Oliver’s recipe for oxtail stew, but I also made some adjustments to make it more suitable for postpartum recovery.

In this recipe, I’ve used homemade bone broth, which is full of nutrients and collagen that help heal the tissues and joints. I also made my own Worcestershire sauce, which adds a depth of flavour and a touch of sweetness. And I prepared the oxtails in a traditional Asian way, which involves blanching and rinsing them before cooking. This removes the impurities and excess fat and gives a more refined and clear stew.

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. Most of them are pantry staples, and once you have everything ready, it’s just a matter of throwing everything into a pot and letting it cook for a few hours. The result is a hearty and delicious stew that will warm you up from the inside out. Trust me, you will love this oxtail stew for postpartum.

Star Ingredients and Their Benefits for Oxtail Stew for Postpartum

This oxtail stew for postpartum is not only delicious but also packed with nourishing ingredients that will help you heal and recover after giving birth. Here are some of the star ingredients and their benefits:

Oxtails

The oxtail is the tail of a cow, and it is particularly rich in gelatin and collagen. These are essential for repairing your skin, joints, and gut lining, as well as boosting your immune system and hair growth. I’m old enough to remember a time when oxtails were a very cheap cut of meat, but they’ve become much more prized and therefore more expensive these days. But for an occasion such as postpartum, I feel it’s worth the expense.

Homemade Bone Broth

Bone broth not only adds a layer of depth and flavour to the stew but also allows you to make a healing food that is rich in soothing and healing amino acids and minerals. All of these are wonderful for supporting nutritious milk production for your baby and tissue repair and recovery for you as a mama.

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

This sauce adds all the flavours – sour, sweet, a little bit pungent, aromatic, and a touch of chilli – to the stew, making it irresistible. Making your own is a cinch that allows you to use good quality ingredients. It’s made of apple cider vinegar, fish sauce (which I recommend getting from a brand that is traditionally fermented with anchovies), blackstrap molasses, soy sauce (if you tolerate it, otherwise you could use liquid aminos), and warming spices like cloves, allspice, ginger, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Warming and aromatic spices are particularly helpful in the postpartum period, where keeping the circulation moving around the body and to the womb is especially important.

Oxtail Stew for Postpartum Ingredients

Oxtail Stew

  • 2.5 kg oxtail, chopped into 4cm chunks (from grass-fed, pasture-raised cattle)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, organic if possible, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, organic
  • 4 medium carrots, organic
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 cloves, organic
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of organic whole grain flour (e.g., spelt or einkorn)
  • 2 x 400 g tins of organic plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 litre homemade beef bone broth or filtered water
  • A splash of homemade Worcestershire sauce (see recipe below)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (from wild-caught fish)
  • 2 tablespoons organic blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon homemade fermented soy sauce (if tolerated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

How to Make Oxtail Stew for Postpartum

Making this oxtail stew for postpartum is not difficult, but it does require some time and patience. The result is well worth it, though. You will end up with a tender, flavorful, and nourishing stew that will make you feel cozy and cared for. Here are the steps to make it:

Preparation of Oxtails

Rinse the oxtails in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Pour out the water and repeat until the water runs clear. This will remove any impurities and blood from the oxtails.

Once rinsed, cover the oxtails with cold water again and let them soak for at least three hours, or overnight in the fridge. This will help to tenderize the meat and draw out more blood.

Drain the oxtails through a colander and then add them to a pot. Cover them with water once again and put over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. During this time, you will notice foam and scum rising to the surface and the water will become somewhat brownish. This is normal and expected.

Drain the oxtails through a colander once again and give them a final rinse. This step is not necessary, but it does give a superior outcome to the stew, as it removes any remaining impurities and makes the broth clearer and cleaner.

Oxtail Stew Method

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Add your blanched oxtails to an oven tray. Season with sea salt, and black pepper, and drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil. Toss to coat and place in the oven for 20 minutes, until the oxtails are lovely and golden and a little bit crispy. This will add more flavour and texture to the stew.

In a cast iron pot with a lid, or an ovenproof casserole pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and celery and cook until they begin to soften about 10 minutes. Next, add garlic and cook for an additional minute, then add carrots.

Add thyme, rosemary leaves, bay leaves, cloves, and allspice. Stir to combine and release the aromas of the herbs and spices. Pour in your tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oxtails from the oven along with any roasting juices, and homemade bone broth. Stir well and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil, then pop the lid on and place in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 170C.

Cook for five hours, or until the meat is falling away from the bone. You could also transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for eight to 12 hours if you prefer.

Add a generous splash of homemade Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with unrefined sea salt and black pepper. The Worcestershire sauce will add a tangy and savoury kick to the stew, and balance out the richness of the meat and broth.

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, blackstrap molasses, and soy sauce or liquid aminos. Put over low to medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine the ingredients. Add ground cloves, allspice, ginger, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if you’re using it. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a clean, airtight glass bottle or container and keep in the fridge. Shake the bottle before using to ensure all the ingredients are well-mixed. This sauce will last for three months in the fridge and can be used for other dishes as well.

Bowl of oxtail stew on wooden table with tea towel and wooden spoon

Oxtail Stew Serving Suggestions

This oxtail stew for postpartum is lovely to serve with a hunk of toasted sourdough bread or on a bed of steamed rice. You can also enjoy it with fluffy mashed potatoes and steamed greens, such as broccoli, green beans, or snow peas. Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of colour and freshness.

You may like to use rubber gloves and remove the meat from the bone and put it into the stew, if you don’t like the idea of eating meat off the bone. In our household, we are a rustic lot and don’t mind, so it’s up to you how you would like to serve it. Either way, it will be delicious and satisfying.

More Postpartum Recipes to Explore

Oxtail Stew for Postpartum

Oxtail Stew for Postpartum

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 17 hours 30 minutes

Instructions

Preparation of Oxtails

  1. This step is not necessary, but it does give a superior outcome to the stew, as it removes any remaining impurities and makes the broth clearer.
  2. Rinse the oxtails in a large bowl and cover them with cold water. Pour out the water and repeat until the water runs clear. This will remove any impurities and blood from the oxtails.
  3. Once rinsed, cover the oxtails with cold water again and let them soak for at least three hours, or overnight in the fridge. This will help to tenderize the meat and draw out more blood.
  4. Drain the oxtails through a colander and then add them to a pot. Cover them with water once again and put over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. During this time, you will notice foam and scum rising to the surface and the water will become somewhat brownish. This is normal and expected. Drain the oxtails through a colander once again and give them a final rinse.

Oxtail Stew Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 220 C. Add your blanched oxtails to an oven tray. Season with sea salt, and black pepper, and drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil. Toss to coat and place in the oven for 20 minutes, until the oxtails are lovely and golden and a little bit crispy. This will add more flavour and texture to the stew.
  2. In a cast iron pot with a lid or an ovenproof casserole pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and celery and cook until they begin to soften about 10 minutes. Next, add garlic and cook for an additional minute, then add carrots.
  3. Add thyme, rosemary leaves, bay leaves, cloves, and allspice. Stir to combine and release the aromas of the herbs and spices. Pour in your tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, oxtails from the oven along with any roasting juices, and homemade bone broth. Stir well and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil, then pop the lid on and place in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 170C.
  4. Cook for five hours, or until the meat is falling away from the bone. You could also transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for eight to 12 hours if you prefer.
  5. Add a generous splash of homemade Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with unrefined sea salt and black pepper. The Worcestershire sauce will add a tangy and savoury kick to the stew, and balance out the richness of the meat and broth.

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, blackstrap molasses, and soy sauce or liquid aminos. Put over low to medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring to combine the ingredients. Add ground cloves, allspice, ginger, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, if you’re using it. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  2. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a clean, airtight glass bottle or container and keep in the fridge. Shake the bottle before using to ensure all the ingredients are well-mixed. This sauce will last for three months in the fridge and can be used for other dishes as well.

Notes

This oxtail stew for postpartum is lovely to serve with a hunk of toasted sourdough bread or on a bed of steamed rice. You can also enjoy it with fluffy mashed potatoes and steamed greens, such as broccoli, green beans, or snow peas. Garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of colour and freshness.

You may like to use rubber gloves and remove the meat from the bone and put it into the stew, if you don’t like the idea of eating meat off the bone. In our household, we are a rustic lot and don’t mind, so it’s up to you how you would like to serve it. Either way, it will be delicious and satisfying.

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