Fresh and raw oxtail cut on the cutting board isolated on a black background
Food - Drink
The Reason It's Often Difficult To Find Oxtail At Your Butcher Shop
Full of connective tissue, oxtail is rich in collagen that dissolves as it cooks slowly into soups, stews, and braises, naturally thickening the dishes with gelatin and providing a luxurious mouthfeel. However, what was once considered a throwaway cut has become increasingly difficult to procure.
Just like lobsters, oxtails have gone from something butchers used to throw away to a luxury item that quickly sells out. As chefs have taken to using it in fancy dishes like French dip sandwiches, oxtail dumplings, and oxtail pad thai, its price has gone way up and its availability has gone down.
Today, it runs between $5 to $10 a pound, when you can even find it. Due to its rising popularity and its naturally limited availability — after all, a cow only has one tail — it can be hard to source from your local butcher or supermarket. If you're planning a dish with oxtail, it is best to call ahead and reserve a few pounds.