Oxtails and Dumplings Recipes

March 13, 2023

Jocelyn Delk Adams shows Sherri and our tasting table soulful “Big Mama”-approved recipes!

To Purchase Jocelyn’s Book Visit: https://a.co/d/dpUIMvA


Oxtails and Cornmeal Dumplings

I come from what you’d call a God-trusting-praying family. In the wake of trouble and strife, we pray. In our most glorious moments, we thank God. When my Big Daddy Sid was in his seventies, he felt God’s calling to establish his church, Mt. Moriah (it’s never too late to do anything in life). I’ve always found my grandparents’ trust in Divine Providence to be awe-inspiring. Even when the road seemed tough and the answers unclear, they fully trusted God, no matter how long a prayer might take to manifest. One of my favorite acronyms, coined by Marshawn Evans Daniels, is “TRUST Is Total Reliance Upon Spiritual Timing.” It’s a practice I’m still working on, but there’s much serenity to be gained when you let things take God’s course and not allow your impatience to rush the plan. Basically, let go and let God. This oxtail dish relies on patience (we talkin’ a three-hour braise, y’all), but paired with cornmeal and thyme dumplings, each bite is worth the wait.



4 pounds oxtails, trimmed of excess fat

1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more as needed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 slices bacon, chopped

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

2 medium green bell peppers, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

14 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

­1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 sprigs thyme

4 bay leaves

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups beef stock, plus more if needed

1­ cups red wine, plus more if needed

1­ cups Dr Pepper, plus more if needed

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons balsamic

vinegar, plus more to taste


1 cup all-purpose flour

­½ cup fine yellow cornmeal

1­ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, for serving


  1. Make the oxtails: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels or clean kitchen towels and keep it near your work area.
  2. Pat the oxtails dry and liberally season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and teaspoon black pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the oxtails and sear until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and let drain.
  3. Add the bacon to the pot and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the onions, bell peppers, and carrots and cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and teaspoon of the black pepper, the chili powder, paprika, cayenne, thyme, and bay leaves and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste until incorporated.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring to incorporate, for about 2 minutes. Pour in the stock, wine, Dr Pepper, Worcestershire, and vinegar and stir until smooth.
  5. Return the oxtails to the pot and bring to a lively simmer. Cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper, followed by the lid. Transfer to the oven and braise for about 2hours. Remove the pot from the oven, turn the oxtails over, cover with the parchment and the lid, and braise for 30 minutes more, or until the meat is completely tender and the sauce thickens and drapes those oxtails like a custom-made coat. 6. Make the cornmeal dumplings: While the oxtails are braising, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, black pepper, and thyme until combined. Stir in the buttermilk, egg, and melted butter until just combined. The batter will be thick.
  6. Remove the oxtails from the oven, uncover the pot, and set on the stovetop over medium heat. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Once the liquid begins to simmer, use a spoon to drop dollops of the cornmeal batter into the pot, spacing them out so they don’t run together. If you ­nd there’s not enough liquid in the pot, add a splash more stock, wine, and Dr Pepper, tasting to ensure the proportions maintain the right balance of flavors. Season with additional Worcestershire and/or vinegar, if desired.
  7. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the dumplings are cooked through and pu‑ed, about 20 minutes. When you cut a dumpling in half, there should be no raw batter inside; if there is, return the pot to the heat, cover, and check again in 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Divide the oxtails and dumplings among four shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and serve it up hot.



Weekly family prayer (the elders in my family have one every Sunday); winter Sunday supper

Elote Fried Corn Pudding


Finding Black women in my industry is harder than you might think. A group of us started connecting weekly over Zoom, and after about a year of virtual meetings, we planned a retreat in Mexico City. We wanted authentic experiences and to avoid the touristy stuff: We got to make tacos over a wood fire and learned our guide’s grandmother’s salsa recipe, made in a generational molcajete. Each experience brought us closer and provided us with the most incredible food. Simple, honest Mexican flavors that came together in homey, traditional dishes felt just like home, even though I didn’t grow up eating the exact same foods. All goes to show you we have far more in common than we might think. I grew up eating corn pudding and this take was inspired by my trip and the flavors of the elote I ate in Mexico City.

Vegetable oil, for brushing 2 ears corn, shucked (see Variation)

Nonstick cooking spray

­1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream, at room temperature

5 tablespoons salted butter, melted

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 limes

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (14.75-ounce) cans creamstyle corn

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated

Cotija cheese or queso fresco, divided

1 teaspoon Tajín chile-lime seasoning or chili powder

Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving


  1. Brush the grates of your grill with the oil, then heat to high (or oil a grill pan and heat over high heat). Add the corn directly to the grill and cook until just lightly charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for about 10 minutes, then use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the kernels o‑ the cobs. Slide ’em to the side, boos.
  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Liberally spray a 9-inch square (if you want the pudding thicker) or 9 by 13-inch (if you want it thinner) casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the crema, butter, and eggs until combined. Finely zest the limes and add the zest to the crema mixture (set the zested limes aside for serving). Add the sugar, cornstarch, garlic powder, and cumin, then stir in the grilled corn kernels and canned corn and mix until everything is well combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with 1 cup of the Cotija cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes, or until thickened to the consistency of pudding
  5. Remove from the oen. Sprinkle the pudding with the Tajín and the remaining 2 tablespoons Cotija and let sit for about 10 minutes. Cut the zested limes into wedges or slices, garnish the pudding with the cilantro, and serve it up hot, with the lime wedges on the top.


If corn is out of season or it’s too cold to grill, you can use 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted and patted dry. Instead of grilling the corn, cook it on the stovetop: In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the corn in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until the kernels sizzle and pop and start to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the kernels well—they will have browned in spots—and spread them out in a single layer again. Cook until the kernels are browned all over, about 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before proceeding with the recipe. Some grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s) also sell frozen charred corn, which allows you to bypass the caramelizing process.


Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day barbecue; new experiences

Peach Bellini Brunch Cake
To me, the Bellini is the most special cocktail. I said what I said. When I turned twenty-one, I went to brunch with my parents to celebrate and ordered my first Bellini, which sounded special and sophisticated. The moment the drink arrived, I realized, I’m all grown up. Here I am, sitting and having a drink with my ’rents. Even now that I’m truly an adult, with a family, a mortgage, and a career (grown life with responsibilities hits different), a peach Bellini still feels magical, so this dressed-up coffee cake—made over with peach Bellini flavors—is the ultimate brunch menu item

1 ripe medium peach (7 ounces)
1/2¬ cup (112 grams) dry sparkling wine, such as champagne or prosecco, etc.
1/2¬ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (65 grams) fresh peach nectar
Nonstick baking spray
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¬1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 sticks/255 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (168 grams) dry sparkling wine, such as champagne, prosecco, etc.
1¬ cups (150 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons (50 grams) fresh peach nectar

1. Make the peach puree: Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Fill a medium bowl with water and ice (ice ice, baby—sorry, had to do that!). Using a sharp paring knife, gently score a large “x” on the non-stem end of the peach. Blanch the peach in the boiling water for about 2 minutes, then transfer it to the prepared ice bath and let cool, about 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, use your hands to slip o the skin, then halve and pit the peach. Transfer the flesh to a mini food processor, add 2 tablespoons water, and process until smooth. You should have about ¾ cup of peach puree. Set aside.
2. Make the Bellini simple syrup: In a small pot, combine the dry sparkling wine, granulated sugar, peach nectar, and 2 tablespoons of the peach puree, set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid has reduced by about a third (to about 3/4 cup), 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
3. Make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with the nonstick baking spray (see Note).
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until combined.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fi¬tted with the whisk attachment (I love the whisk because it incorporates more air, boos!), beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and flu y, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until very pale yellow and flu y, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the egg yolks and vanilla, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
6. In a measuring cup with a spout, combine the dry sparkling wine and 1/4 cup (60 grams) of the peach puree. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the champagne mixture, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Stop the mixer and give the batter a fi¬nal stir by hand.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the pan midway through baking, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake is golden brown and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto the rack or a cake stand and let cool for another 20 minutes. Lightly cover the cake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap so it does not dry out.
8. Assemble the cake: Liberally poke the top of the cake with a skewer, then pour the Bellini simple syrup in batches over the entire cake, letting it seep in each time before adding more. It may seem like a ton of syrup, but don’t stress it, boos—the cake is insanely delicious and moist when soaked through. Let the cake cool completely before glazing; otherwise, the glaze will slide right o the cake.
9. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and peach nectar until smooth and thick but still pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and let set for about 10 minutes. Serve with cofee or, you know, a Bellini, boos! Get at it!
NOTE: If you don’t have nonstick baking spray, which has flour added to it for easy release, make a paste with 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1¬tablespoon melted butter, and use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the pan with the paste.
Mother’s Day; child’s ¬first words; “I Want and Deserve Cake” Day

About Sherri

The Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show host, comedian, actor, and best-selling author Sherri Shepherd brings her inimitable, authentic and comedic perspective to daytime with her own nationally-syndicated talk show, SHERRI.

Sherri’s warm, relatable and engaging personality will shine through as she offers her comedic take on the day’s entertainment news, pop culture, and trending topics with the daytime audience. As America’s favorite girl next door, her comedy-driven show will feature celebrity interviews, informative experts, moments of inspiration and amazing everyday people to create an hour of entertainment escapism.

Taped live in New York City in front of a live studio audience, SHERRI is produced and distributed by Debmar-Mercury.


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