A question about a recipe: Oxtail Ragout

I have a question about step 1 on the recipe "Oxtail Ragout" from Fran. It says:

"Have the butcher disjoint the oxtails - that is, cut them through at the joints, not hack them into pieces. [Just love this instruction ! Today precut oxtails are available in most large supermarkets.]" How do I disjoint the oxtail?

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Recipe question for: Oxtail Ragout

3 Comments

usuba D. August 1, 2012
Every year when we butcher one of our beef, I always save the tail for Oxtail soup . . . Mum must have her Oxtail soup. Anyway, I use the heel of a large chef's knife to cut between each joint of the tail. Just feel for the slight rise at each connection between the bones. The tail is an extension of the spine, so think of the disks in a spine.
 
pierino August 2, 2012
Well described Usuba Dashi.
 
pierino August 1, 2012
Unfortunately most people don't have real butchers near them, although the trade is coming back. Use a cleaver---really sharp Chinese ones are good for this. With your fingers feel for where the bones and connective tissue meet and slice between them, although you might have to finish each with a good whack. Your supermarket guys (who aren't butchers) would just run them through a saw.
 
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