Adapting oxtail stew recipe for slow cooker
May 18, 2014 7:50 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to make this oxtail stew recipe, but in the slow cooker. Any ideas on how to adapt it? I'm thinking of halving the recipe and doing it for 9-11 hours on low in the slow cooker instead of 3-3.5 hours in the dutch oven.
posted by yarly to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is not a great recipe to try to.convert to a slow cooker.

You'll still spend.real time Browning the oxtails and making the wine reduction. The only thing the slow.cooker.would do is allow you to leave it unattended. reality you'd be better cooking it on a day you are home anyway, chilling it and defatting it. The whole thing will be better that way.

If you insist on slow cooking yeah your guess is probably correct. Oxtail is rich enough to really forgiving of over cooking.
posted by JPD at 8:00 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You mean it's not great because I have to brown a bunch of stuff anyway, or for another reason? I'm resigned to the browning - I just want to do slow cooker so I don't have to have the oven on for so long on a nice spring day. I guessed 9-11 hours on low because that's what America's Test Kitchen recommends for short ribs.
posted by yarly at 9:03 AM on May 18, 2014

The thing about slow cookers is that they don't allow flavors to concentrate the way they do in the oven because there's less evaporation (I don't know why this is, honestly, since the oven cooking is done in a covered pan too; but that's what happens.) Results with regular recipes will be watery (and with many ostensibly adapted slow cooker recipes, too.) This recipe looks like it has a lot of liquid which you need to reduce as a first step in any case... I guess maybe if you reduced it well beyond what the recipe says, you might be ok.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:13 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

You'll basically be doing all of the work already. The only thing you get to skip is the oven step. And it won't come out as well.

If you slow cook it brown the oxtails really well.
posted by JPD at 11:17 AM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I just want to report back that this was a total failure! I went with the slow-cooker after all because it was late and I didn't have 3.5 hours to tend a dutch oven. The flavor was wonderful, but the oxtails were TOUGH. I reduced the liquid in the recipe somewhat to match other oxtail slowcooker recipes - so around 2 cups for 5 lbs. I don't think that was enough because the oxtails were not completely covered. My theory is that oxtails have to be totally submerged in braising liquid in order to cook properly. Oh well!
posted by yarly at 5:07 PM on May 19, 2014

Hmm - maybe the low temp on your slowcooker is too low. Does it at least come to a super low simmer?
posted by JPD at 6:19 AM on May 20, 2014

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