Braised Oxtail & Foie-Gras Terrine


I’m blogging backward so if you read my last post you already know what i did with the leftovers from this project. If you didn’t, go there… and quick!

Sure, this oxtail and foie-gras terrine has the coarse appearance of a geological sample but i can guarantee you there’s no spinosaurus fossil stuck in there. The wine-braised oxtail meat, sweet, rich and tender, wraps around the silky foie gras, picks up contrasting tones from the artichokes and vegetables, earthy flavors from the mushrooms and then dissolves on the tongue to tickle your senses.

Not only oxtail is a delicious cut of meat but it contains so much cartilage, marrow and tendons that the long braising period turns the braising liquid into an intense broth loaded with natural gelatin. Strain and let the broth cool off and you end up with a dense meat jello. Yes, i’m aware that meat jello sounds disgusting. I promise i won’t say meat jello again.

oxtail-foie-gras-terrine-3 oxtail-foie-gras-terrine-4 oxtail-foie-gras-terrine-5 oxtail-foie-gras-terrine-111

With the shredded oxtail meat on one side and the broth on the other you are free to come up with any terrine layering you can think of. Artichokes, mushrooms and vegetables are perfect for this and so is a big chunk of foie-gras in the middle. Hard boiled quail eggs? Why not! Slices of black truffle? Hell yea! A shoe? Not recommended!  You’re the architect of your own terrine so you can play with whatever design of flavors you can think of. The great thing about this terrine is that it can be made ahead of time. As a matter of fact, it’s even better made several days ahead.

Bring it to a party with some cornichons, mustards and a loaf of country bread and you’re sure to make some friends. Or you might get mugged. Oh well.

  • Braised Oxtail & Foie-Gras Terrine

  • Serves 8
  • Adapted from Daniel Boulud in “Cooking in New York City”
  • oxtail-foie-gras-terrine-2
    • For the braised oxtail:
    • 4 pounds oxtail, cut into 3-inch pieces
    • 1 stick butter
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 head garlic, cut in half
    • 1/2 bunch parsley
    • 2 sprigs thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 bottle dry red wine
    • 8 cups beef or veal stock
    • salt & pepper
    • Preheat oven to 300’F.
    • Season the oxtail pieces with salt & pepper. Melt 3/4 of the butter in a dutch oven, add the oxtail and brown on side. Transfer the oxtail to a platter and discard the excess fat.
    • Melt the remaining butter in the same pan and add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add the oxtail back to the pan and the beef or veal stock. Bring to a boil, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface. Cover the pan with a lid and braise in the oven for 3 hours.
    • Remove the meat and strain the liquid. Discard the vegetables. Degrease the broth. Remove the meat from the bones whiles they’re still hot and add salt and pepper if necessary.
    • For the vegetables:
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 turnips, diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 artichokes hearts, sliced
    • 1/2 lb white mushrooms, diced
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 sprig of thyme
    • salt & pepper
    • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the carrots, turnips and celery. Cool, drain and reserve.
    • Saute the slices of artichoke in olive oil, garlic & thyme. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender. Set aside to cool.
    • To assemble the terrine:
    • 1/2 pound foie-gras terrine
    • Line the inside of a 3 by 9-inch terrine with plastic wrap. Place 1-inch layer of oxtail meat in the bottom of the mold and 1 cup oxtail broth. Arrange 1/2 the vegetables on a layer on top of the meat. Arrange the foie gras (cut the long way) in the middle of the terrine. Place the remaining vegetables on top and finish with another layer of oxtail meat. Pour another cup of oxtail broth over the terrine. Cover the terrine and refrigerate overnight. Better after 2 or 3 days.
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  • stacey snacks

    Gilles Verot, eat your heart out! (or your oxtail out!).
    This is a gorgeous terrine!

  • Sean

    This might be too much of a good thing. Tasty foods overload.

    We use the white, gelatinous broth from the oxtail as stock for many of our Korean jjigaes at home. Great stuff all around!

  • mochachocolatarita

    OMG. never tried terrine before. this looks so beautiful it deserves a normal sounding comment from me 😀
    how does it taste…

  • Indonesia Eats

    I should buy a terrine mold and still have oxtail the freezer :)

    Looking good!!!!

  • Manggy

    Confession! I’ve never had a terrine before. For some reason most Filipinos have a mistrust for cold food. But it looks too beautiful (yes, geological samples are beautiful) to pass up!

  • nina

    Zenman, this is phenomenal…..absolutely stunning. I see it…picnic blanket…crusty bread, terrine and a bottle of the good stuff…..

  • MaryMoh

    That’s a lot of goodness in this terrine. Love the layers. Beautiful photos & looks utterly delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    It’s been said but worthy of repeating…absolutely beautiful. I’ve never used oxtail meat, interest now piqued!

  • T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    OMG – when can I come over? That is an astounding creation. I’ve never had terrine for breakfast, but there’s always a first time.

  • Ed Schenk

    This looks great. Don’t worry about the term “Meat Jelly”. It is appropriate.I love to use beef shank becaue I can get the jelly!

  • courtney aka glamah

    And I so want to make this. Love Terrines.

  • Joy

    That is by far the most beautiful terrine I’ve ever laid eyes on — geological sample? I don’t think so! A beautiful work of art is more like it… I love oxtail, I can’t even begin to explain my love for this meat. My mom would braise them too and I remember taking chopsticks and picking out the tiny morsels of meat and cartilage nom nom nom. Beautiful :) Thanks for sharing

  • Thao Phan

    I know that the French influnced a lot of our food (Vietnamese) and this is definatly one of it. Looks like our Gio Thu. YUMMY!!!!

  • Peter

    One of the new kitchen utensils I bought last year was a terrine mould and I will seek your guidance when tackling the recipe, Monsieur Le Zen!

  • Cynthia

    I have to get me a terrine mold. This is outstanding!

  • sugar plum



  • Kate/Kajal

    Terrines is still a virgin territory for me. Yours looks so colourful and has so much going on. Fancy stuff actually. Out to impress huh :))

  • Rasa Malaysia

    I saw a lot of these terrine when I was in France but I didn’t know which one to choose from!

  • jared

    Zenman, your terrine looks awesome as well. Too bad we already ate all our shredded oxtail with the piquillo pepper. We love oxtail, so rich and full of fat and collagen. I will definitely try this recipe next time. Any chance you can send some foie over this way? =)

  • Oui, Chef

    One of the things I miss most about living in France is the wide variety and availability of delicious terrines. Great job photographing a dish that is not generally a pretty thing to look at.

  • pigpigscorner

    This looks awesome! I have to do this with my leftovers next time!

  • Rachel (S[d]OC)

    Take it to a party? No way! That would mean I would have to share it.

  • Jeremy

    Very nice, ever try chicken steak? We used to do beouf aux carrots when I was at Raphael restaurant.Beouf aux carrot terrine chilled and with gribiche, fabulous!

  • shirley@kokken69

    I have always been curious about terrines- they usually look very pretty but I need to get over the thought of eating cold meat..jello(you said it!)… the smarter ladies will devour them with gusto as it is loaded with collagen, I am sure- good for the complexion. After reading this, I really think I should give it a try.

  • we are never full

    you are on fire recently. i actually have no words because i’m sitting here, mouth open and eyes popping out of head.

  • Peter

    Amy’s like that most of the time, but in this case she’s right. I’m overdue for some terrine-making. And there’s foie in the freezer…

  • FerdieR1966

    can you use liver pate as substitute for the foie gras?

  • zenchef

    Ferdie — Yes, you can!

  • Lisar

    Meat jello sounds amusing, not gross.

    Good knife cuts.

  • Jeff

    If anybody thinks meat jello is disgusting I do not want to ever be associated with them. One of the greatest things about braised meats is the fact everything gets a little more harder when it has rested in the fridge.

    I just wish I could find foie gras around here *cry*

  • Colloquial Cook

    -M’sieur, m’sieur!
    -Oui petit fenouil?
    -Mais c’est dégueulasse la queue de boeuf
    -On dit pas dégueulasse. Au coin. Hop.

  • Michael [OpenKyoto]

    A geological sample? Yes! And a mighty tasty looking one. I had oxtail soup last night, at the yakiniku place we ate at in Kyoto. It was good, but this looks divine! You are a REAL chef indeed.

  • Steve Carlson

    So does the foie gras cook?

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