As the weather gets colder in the Northern Hemisphere, I tend to crave more stews and soups. This oxtail stew with spaghetti squash is warming, comforting, but with lower carbs than with rice or pasta. It’s the perfect cold weather dish!
I love pasta, but most days I watch my carb intake and try to eat it only on weekends. But I often crave noodles or pasta throughout the week. I’ve tried spiralizing zucchini; which I love, but I feel it can’t stand up to something like a hardcore stew. So I decided to try spaghetti squash this time around. I was so pleasantly surprised I think spaghetti squash is officially one of my favourite foods now.
As for the stew, oxtail is an extremely flavourful cut of beef; and a rather cheap one at that! The fact that it comes with the bone makes it extra tasty. However, like most cheaper cuts of beef it tends to be tough and needs some long, slow cooking, preferably with liquid. Once cooked long and slow, it is transformed into melt-in-your-mouth tender meat with a delicious texture. It’s really wonderful! Next time you see some oxtail at your local butcher or supermarket, go ahead and give it a try!
This recipe is inspired by Caribbean flavours. Two years ago, I was hit by a reckless, speeding driver as I was attempting to cross the road at a pedestrian crossing. I was badly injured and spent the next three and a half months in a wheelchair and many months after that with very limited mobility. During that time I had a caregiver from Jamaica; a lovely, energetic young woman always ready to sing and dance! She took care of me during the worst time of my life, and she introduced me to Jamaican food. So, in this recipe I used some of the flavours my former caregiver introduced me to in an attempt to recreate some of those flavours. And the recipe is dedicated to her!
- 450 grams or one pound of oxtail meat, chopped in 2-inch chunks.
- One medium sized spaghetti squash
- One large onion
- Two large carrots
- One celery stalk
- Two tablespoons scotch bonnet pepper sauce (you can use the actual peppers, but I’m warning you: they’re strong!)
- One teaspoon ground allspice
- One tablespoon dried thyme
- One teaspoon garlic powder
- One cup canned tomatoes
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Two tablespoons granulated white sugar (optional)
- Two tablespoons dark soy sauce
- One cup cheap white wine
- Two cups hot water
- Two tablespoons canola oil.
- In a large pot, heat half the canola oil.
- Season the oxtail pieces liberally with salt and pepper. Add them to the oil and brown on all sides. Set them aside on a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pot. Add the chopped onion, sauté it for two to three minutes until translucent.
- Add the chopped carrots and celery. Continue to cook for another three to five minutes. Season the vegetables with the salt and spices.
- Add in the soy sauce, wine, scotch bonnet pepper sauce, canned tomatoes and sugar. Bring all to a boil.
- Embed the oxtail pieces in the vegetable mixture. Add enough water to cover the meat. Bring to a boil on high heat then allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 2 hours. In the last 15 minutes, uncover it and allow some of the water to evaporate so the sauce would thicken.
- In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half. This website has a handy guide to safely cutting and cleaning spaghetti squash. I used the towel method and it worked for me!
- Season the squash with a little dried thyme and salt, place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
- Remove the squash from the oven and with a fork, loosen the strands inside it. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Allow the stew to rest and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Ladle some of the stew on top of the squash strands inside the shell, turning it into a bowl. If you don’t like the idea of eating out of a squash bowl, you can serve it on a plate. Enjoy!
Let me hear from you!
Do you like oxtail? How do you make it? Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? How do you like to cook it? Let me know in the comments!
For other stew and braise recipes, check out:
© 2019, L.E.. All rights reserved.