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syke
11-14-2012, 08:43 PM
Can I get a knife recommendation for deboning oxtail? I make it regularly - typically using the meat for ragu/ragout and the bones for a white beef broth for Korean soups.

Is there a magic knife out there that makes this task less of a pain, or is it a pain regardless of the knife?

Benuser
11-15-2012, 12:07 AM
Have you ever tried a traditional désosseur, thin, with a little flex

http://www.tompress.com/I-Grande-16593-couteau-desosseur-13-cm.net.jpg

I must admit I never deboned a raw oxtail, and after cooking you hardly need a knife.

syke
11-15-2012, 01:38 AM
I only had the chance to try a really cheap, crappy one a while back. I found the blade too flimsy for oxtails and the handle way too small and slippery. That said, I'm currently doing said deboning with an equally sketchy paring knife. A real thrill seeker I am.

I've pretty much decided that my next purchase should be a decent 6" petty. Has anyone done oxtails with a petty/utility? What's the verdict?

sachem allison
11-15-2012, 02:16 AM
Frankly in 20 years of cooking and 38 years of eating oxtail, I have never seen or heard of anyone deboning it. I'm curious, why are you deboning it? Is it for a special recipe or preparation? Not trying to be an ass, would really like to learn something new. Do you have pic of this procedure, That would be rather interesting. I imagine it is a huge pain with all the joints and knobs and bony projections on the vertebrae.

NO ChoP!
11-15-2012, 07:54 AM
We make oxtail chili, and braise the tails, then pull the meat off by hand. It's tedious cooked, can't imagine doing it raw.

syke
11-15-2012, 09:48 PM
Frankly in 20 years of cooking and 38 years of eating oxtail, I have never seen or heard of anyone deboning it. I'm curious, why are you deboning it? Is it for a special recipe or preparation? Not trying to be an ass, would really like to learn something new. Do you have pic of this procedure, That would be rather interesting. I imagine it is a huge pain with all the joints and knobs and bony projections on the vertebrae.

I'm just a home cook, so I never realized it was so uncommon. I only started doing it a couple years ago for two reasons: (1) more browned surface area on the meat for oxtail ragu, and (2) the bones can be used to make a white beef stock for a lot of different Korean soups. In relation to the latter, I once suggested to my wife that we rinse off the leftover bones from cooked oxtail and use them for the Korean stock. She would have none of it, as that's not how the traditional Korean stock is made. So let's convince her I need a new knife instead. :)

Benuser
11-15-2012, 11:33 PM
Now it's obvious to me, you NEED a honesuki.

Misono Swedish Carbon with JCK:

http://japanesechefsknife.com/images/Img600.jpg

heirkb
11-15-2012, 11:39 PM
I thought the honesuki was more poultry and the hankotsu was more mammal, but not sure why.

apicius9
11-15-2012, 11:41 PM
I thought the honesuki was more poultry and the hankotsu was more mammal, but not sure why.

That's why you need both :)

Stefan

syke
11-15-2012, 11:57 PM
Hankotsu! Now there's an interesting idea. Never used one, but it rather seems like a petty on roids.

Benuser
11-16-2012, 12:14 AM
The hankotsu is even sturdier than the honesuki, but much less versatile.

franzb69
11-16-2012, 07:09 AM
for my needs i'd get a garasuki (larger version of a honesuki) and a hankotsu.

Korin_Mari
11-16-2012, 11:08 AM
I thought the honesuki was more poultry and the hankotsu was more mammal, but not sure why.

You can honestly use either. I find it easier to use the honesuki because its triangular, but yea... I was initially taught that hankotsu was used for mammals and honesuki was more for poultry. I later asked Mr. Sugai why and he said it doesn't really matter. The honesuki will let you get into small crevasses and deal with smaller bones, which is why it makes deboning poultry easier. In the end, it's a question of preference.

Anyways, yes. For deboning oxtail, you should definitely use either a honesuki or a hankotsu. Don't try to use anything thinner, because you might chip your knife.

Phip
11-16-2012, 11:49 PM
I'd use the same thing u use for separating all the multifacie from the spine on a blackstrap. Ok, sorry, that basically begs the question. I'm in the camp of those who cook first and remove meat from bones later. The flavor from the bones and connective tissue is too good to lose.

Justin0505
11-17-2012, 05:23 AM
I actually find my Carter "executive" style neck knife to be perfect for stuff like this. Its a little longer than your typical paring knife, but also much narrower and pointier. However, it's designed as a light, general purpose (no kitchen) knife so the spine is much thicker/ blade much stronger than your typical paring or kitchen knife of that size. The end result is that you have something capable of getting into places that most kitchen knives cant and with a blade that's also more robust.
11523
http://www.cartercutlery.com/japanese-knives/neck-knives
The one I have is even longer and narrower.

Here's the problem though: price. I got mine a few years ago and it was also a discounted "second" and I also had a promo discount. So it ended up being around $100somthing. Murray's prices have continued to go up (if he can continue to sell knives at higher prices, then good for him) but at over $400 for a new neck knife, I don't know if I will ever be buying another one. You could stalk his site for discounted ones, or try to get a coupon by signing up of his newsletters / tips, but, the best solution, IMO is to get a custom from one of the awesome guys on this forum. Outside the forum, Stephen Fowler or Adam Marr could both certainly make something like this for less and with a steel that's tougher and ht'ed a bit lower to help reduce chipping.