If you’re not beefing up your soups and stews with oxtails, you should be. Resourceful cooks around the world have long utilized this collagen-rich appendage (once considered an undesirable byproduct of cattle slaughter) to add richness and lustrous body to all sorts of braises—and in many preparations it’s the star component. Oxtail is the foundation of Hawaii’s soul-satisfying soup: beefy-rich broth infused with ginger, star anise, dried mushrooms, jujubes, and the aged dried orange peel known as chen pi. In Jamaica, where the tough cut is a staple of the cuisine, cooks simmer it to melting tenderness in a silky gravy that’s seasoned with the dark, smoky caramelized sugar called browning. Romans transform it into coda alla vaccinara, a lush peasant dish that’s brightened with tomatoes and wine.