Strange Meats, Good Eats: Eat An Ox Tail Taco Today!

So depending when you have met me, you probably think of me as either a super adventerous eater, or a super picky eater. I admit that for too long of my life, I ignored the very yummy–and very fine–things in life. However, there is one thing that I have always given a go:

weird meats.

My eating habits as a child and most of my young adult life can be best described as: carnivore. I always have more room for bacon, even if I insisted I was too full for broccoli mere moments ago. I may be a little nervous to bite into that funny smelling cheese, but if it came from a cow, pig, chicken…bring it on. I have dined on bear meat, alligator tail, squirrel dumplings, and other bizarre game that will make some folks cringe…

Some folks, but not my beloved Craigory. Where some people dare not go with their taste buds, Craig dives teeth first. On our 7th date, we made cow tongue together. As traidtion for his birthday, I prepare him any strange meal he requests, including sweetbreads (aka the thymus or the pancreas of an animal) and beef heart. He does prefer to stay away from sweet potatoes, strangely enough (although I have tricked him before, like any good partner).

With a combination of getting older and wiser, and also finding a life partner with a particular zeal for interesting and unique food, I myself have become a “better” eater, both nutritionally and adventerously. I believe this definitely comes with being more aware of your body–eating conciously and providing it fuel, rather than seeing an entire pizza and saying “Why not?”, then devouring the whole thing.

But I’m not here to brag about what a healthy eater I am (which I totally am all most of the time), I’m here to show you that trying a new meat does not have to be intimidating, weird, or disgusting. On the contrary, especially with this dish, it can be easy and delicious.

For this recipe, you’re gonna need a crockpot! So if you don’t own one, I’m not sure what’s wrong with you, because crockpots are AMAZING. Just kidding, no judgement….sorta.

For the meat

  • a package of ox tails: these are typically very inexpensive, can be found in most grocery stores, and come in a pack of 3-4
  • 16 oz jar of salsa of preferred temperature
  • 1 cup water

Alright–you ready for how complicated this is? Take all these ingredients. Put them in your crockpot. Place lid on crockpot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high for 4-5, but really try to dedicate yourself to the low setting). Walk away. I am dead serious, that is all this takes. If you are feeling super crazy, when the meat has been cooking for like 7 hours, you can shred the meat off the bone and stir it into the salsa, and let it cook for another hour or so. You don’t have to do that, but I usually do, and I’ve never regretted it.

For the slaw

  • one head of cabbage
  • 5 radishes
  • 3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pepper to preference
  • garlic powder to preference
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Chop cabbage pretty damn well. Some people know how to shred cabbage, and they’re just rubbing it in. I made Craig chop all the vegetables for this so you may not even take my word on any part of this recipe. Toss the cabbage in with some salt and let it all hang out for a while.

Thinly slice radishes.

In a small bowl, mix red-wine vinegar, olice oil, pepper, garlic powder, and mustard. I suggest using a tiny egg beater because they are a) ideal b) adorable!

Once mixture has been made, pour into cabbage bowl and add radishes. Toss until all is coated evenly.

Once the taco meat is done, shred it off the bone if you haven’t done so already. Then you know what to do! Get a tortilla and load ‘er up. I swear, if you serve this to your friends, they will think you are just serving them shredded beef tacos because ox tail has no offensive taste. It is a little bit more fatty, which is AWESOME, DUH. Be sure to put that slaw on the taco!


Note: not pictured, slaw on taco.

I really want to encourage all of you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, delicious, and maybe a little weird. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

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