I am cooking a meat stew with a delicious, fatty bunch of oxtails. Initially when browning the meat, I didn't get a sufficient amount of caramelized glaze around the oxtails and none of the fat melted into the stew.

Is it possible to pull out the meat for a second sear, browning it thoroughly then reducing with the stew? Are there better ways to "save" the stew?

  • do you mean second sear by 'second braise'?
    – MandoMando
    Mar 6, 2013 at 23:09
  • Well, I thought about that, but I think I want to sear the meat thoroughly this time, and then add the stew and cook to allow those new flavors to infuse. So I'm repeating the entire process again.
    – AdamO
    Mar 6, 2013 at 23:13
  • tricky with oxtail, you could easily make them dry if you sear them for as long as you normally would. I'd run them hotter for less time. The second time around the tissue is different.
    – MandoMando
    Mar 6, 2013 at 23:18

2 Answers 2


I gave it a shot! I took the oxtails out and seared them in a cast iron pan underneath the broiler in my oven. Once they were pretty much blackened on all sides, I dropped in a bit of the stew and simmered it down very briefly using residual heat from the cast iron. It was a surprise how quickly it infused with the caramel flavor from the meat. I added the reduction and meat back to the original stew and it has a decent, robust flavor like I'd hoped. Not ideal, but a good way to compensate for expenses in "cutting corners".

The one downside is that my "fast braise" in the cast iron seemed to have diminished the seasoning slightly. I rinsed and wiped the pan dry then coated with some oil and put it back under the broiler briefly.

  • Glad it worked out for you! It would have been a shame to end up stuck with a dish you were unhappy with.
    – Preston
    Mar 7, 2013 at 21:18

In theory, it should work out okay. I've never tried it, personally.

If you are going to pull them back out and attempt to heat them directly again, I would suggest patting them dry first, so that other components of your stew that may be stuck to the meat do not char and add a burnt taste.

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