Description: Food Network Kitchen's Mama Chan’s Oxtail Stew.
Recipe courtesy of Vivian Chan for Food Network Kitchen

Mama Chan’s Oxtail Stew

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
I’ve eaten oxtail stew all my life, but it gave me special comfort when my mother made it for me when I was pregnant and having difficulty eating anything. I couldn’t resist the delicious aroma and it became a staple during the rest of my pregnancy. Mama’s version simmers for hours on the stovetop; as I developed this Instant Pot® version she was adamant about capturing all the dish's nuances to keep the flavor the same even as the cooking time is cut in half. The consistency of the gravy is a little looser, but all the elements are there: the melting sweetness of carrots, onions and shallots; the richness of the sauce; and the tender, irresistible oxtail pieces. It’s a hearty, substantial meal for your tummy and your heart.



Special equipment:
a 6-quart Instant Pot®
  1. Place the oxtail and half the ginger coins in a large wide pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for 10 minutes. If foam forms on the surface, use a large wide spoon to spoon it off and discard.
  2. Carefully transfer the pieces with a slotted spoon or tongs to a colander and rinse under cold water. Place colander over a large bowl and set aside. Discard the water.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar together until combined. Set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large wide nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Once shimmering, add the remaining ginger coins, the carrots and onions. Toss until the vegetables are well coated in the oil and slightly golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. This will prevent the carrots from breaking apart during braising. Transfer the vegetables to a 6-quart Instant Pot®.
  5. Return the skillet to high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil and heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ketchup and bring to a full boil, about 30 seconds. Add the blanched oxtail pieces. Toss until the oxtail is fully coated. Add the oyster sauce mixture to the skillet and toss until everything is coated and the sauce is syrupy. Let simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with more soy sauce if needed. Transfer to the pot with the carrots. Add 4 cups of water.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 1 hour 30 minutes (see Cook’s Note). After the pressure-cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick-release cycle is complete (this should take about 2 minutes).
  7. Being careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid. Skim up to 1/2 cup of fat from the top of the stew. Set to high sear/sauté and add the tomatoes. Let cook, uncovered, until the tomato quarters have softened and are falling apart, about 15 minutes. Serve with rice.

Cook’s Note

Ask your butcher to reserve oxtail pieces that come from the middle and smaller end of the tail. Pieces from the thickest part may not cook in this recipe’s time frame. Settings may vary on your Instant Pot® depending on the model. Please refer to the manufacturer’s guide.