Although originally taken from oxen, most oxtails are cut from cattle and are either beef or veal. The oxtail has a large center bone that has meat all around.
After being skinned, the oxtail has a fair amount of meat left, although it is somewhat sinewy. Because of this, oxtail is best cooked by braising or by being made into a stew or soup. Some chefs prefer to use oxtails as the basis for beef broths and stock because it has a strong beef flavor and a large amount of gelatin, which gives soups and sauces a rich mouth feel.