In case you are a non-vegetarian, you would be in love with meat. There are different meat cuts out there with their distinct textures and flavors. That being said, oxtail is one of them, but it is extremely rare. Even more, oxtail can be expensive, which is why we are sharing the oxtail substitutes!
Oxtail is the meat cut from the cattle’s tail. The tail is cut and skinned. After skinning, it is cut into smaller components. The full oxtail weighs around 7lbs to 8lbs. Oxtail has a rich gelatin content which makes it suitable for braising and stews.
It can be cooked through slow cooking, but some people also cook them in pressure cookers. Oxtail is widely used for making premade canned soups. There are different oxtail soups out there. Now, let’s have a look at the oxtail substitutes!
1) Beef Neck Bones
The beef neck bones have tendons that are regularly available in the oxtail. The best thing about this substitute is that it has an affordable price tag. It has a much lesser fat content with a tender texture. On the contrary, beef neck bones have to be simmered for taking out the tender texture. Keep in mind that beef neck bones have to be cooked to make them tender.
Beed neck bones are extremely easy to make since you can add them to the pot and water. In addition, you can add other spices according to your recipe. This simmered beef neck bone is suitable for tacos and tortillas. On top of everything, beef neck bone has a juicy flavor and texture, which goes fine with fresh vegetables and cheese.
2) Beef Shank
The beef shank is cut from the leg portion of the heifer or steer. This muscle is used by the animals a lot, which leads to a dry and tough texture. That being said, it has to be cooked for a longer time period. However, it is cooked on moist heat. Beef shank can be used for making beef bourguignon. This is the lean cut which makes it suitable for preparing ground beef.
On the other hand, it’s not available in the butcher shops, but it can be bought from supermarkets easily. As for the price factor, the beef shank is extremely affordable and can be used for making stocks (just like oxtail). Beef shank can also be added in soups. The thick slice of beef shank will look like steak and might be available as shank steak.
The beef shanks are great for braising but cannot be grilled. With long cooking time, the beef shank will soften up, and the tough muscle fibers will be melted as well. As a result, the beef shank will achieve the fork-tender texture. It has a strong beefy flavor.
3) Lamb Shanks
The lamb shank is the cut taken from the lower section of legs of the lamb. It can be cut from back legs as well as front legs. The lamb shank has an extremely thin membrane with a thin fat layer. In addition, it is leaner as compared to other meats. As for cooking, the membrane has to be removed because it will make the meat more tender.
Generally, lamb shanks have a tough tissue with an extremely strong flavor. It can be slow-cooked as well as braised. The lamb shanks literally melt from the bone if they are cooked properly. It can be braised and cooked as lamb shanks. However, the meat goes perfectly with sandwiches as well. In addition, it can be cooked into flavored pulled meat and stews.
4) Lamb Neck Bones
This is one of the most reasonably-priced cuts out there and is even underrated. This is the tough lamb cut which means it has a slow and long cooking time. Once cooked, the meat will be tender. Lamb neck bones can replace oxtail because braising and stewing make a tender texture. On the contrary, it has gelatin content with a fatty layer. It has a strong flavor.
5) Beef Short Ribs
The short ribs are cut from the brisket, plate, or chuck areas of cattle. The beef short rib has a small rib bone attached to it. With short ribs, you will get flanken and English cut. The short ribs can replace oxtail in the majority of international cuisines.