Oxtail, which comes from all manner of beef cattle, is the most readily available type of tail meat, although pig's tails are also sold in the UK and, in fact, the tails of many animals can be eaten.

The meat of oxtail is lean but surrounded by a layer of firm white fat, which should be removed before cooking. The tails, which weigh around 1.4kg, are sold skinned and cut into 5cm pieces.

While it is categorised as offal, oxtail is meaty and should appeal to anyone who likes beef.

Long, slow methods are best for oxtail, so it is often braised with vegetables in a casserole, or made into soups, as is done in various countries including the Caribbean.

The joint can be boned and stuffed before cooking. It goes especially well with red wine and port, ginger, orange and olives, and when braised is excellent with mash.