Southern Swangin’ Steaks
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Credit: Chef Darren Thompson
National Culinary Review, May/June 2023
From the Chef
“Darren Thompson is an African American chef and native of Orlando, Florida. He is currently the executive sous chef at Stab’s Prime Steak and Seafood in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This Juneteenth recipe sheds light on those unfavorable cuts of meat that our ancestors were given from their masters. “The oxtail has always been a delicacy in my family’s home,” he says. “My grandmother would call them ‘swangin teaks,’ and that’s just what they are!””
3 pounds beef oxtails
3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 tomato, diced
5 cloves garlic
5 cups beef broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1. Season the oxtails with salt and pepper. Drizzle the Worcestershire sauce all over the oxtails, then toss the oxtails to make sure that they are coated.
2. Dredge oxtails in flour. Shake off excess and set flour aside.
3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the oxtails and cook until browned, flipping once, about 10 minutes.
4. Remove oxtails from pot with a slotted spoon, leaving drippings in the pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook just until garlic is fragrant. Reduce heat to low.
5. Add remaining flour, whisking continuously to create a roux. Cook until roux is medium-golden brown.
6. Slowly add beef broth while continuously whisking. Add oxtails back to the pot, along with the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
7. Bring liquid to a simmer and cook until meat is tender and falls off the bone, about 3 1/2 hours.
8. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place oxtails on a large platter. If gravy needs thickening, bring to high and cook until reduced by 1/3. Spoon gravy over oxtails and serve warm.
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