Glazed Oxtails

Oxtails, browned, slow cooked until falling off the bone tender, red wine and stock reduced until coating oxtails with syrupy glaze.

As in any recipe that requires an entire bottle of wine, use a wine that you would enjoy drinking. The flavor of the wine will only be concentrated in this recipe, so if you don't like it to start with, you will not like it in this dish.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-5.

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs of oxtails
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup grape seed or olive oil
  • 2 cups of chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 750ml bottle full bodied red wine
  • 4 cups veal, beef, or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper

Method

glazed-oxtail-1.jpgglazed-oxtail-2.jpg

1 Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a 5 to 6-quart thick bottomed Dutch oven on medium high to high heat. Working in batches, pat dry the oxtails with paper towels, sprinkle them on all sides with salt, and add them to the pan, fat side down on the pan. Add more oil as needed with additional batches of oxtails. Do not crowd the pan. Let them get well browned on one side before using tongs to move them. Brown well on all sides. Remove to a large bowl.

glazed-oxtail-3.jpg

2 Add the onions, celery and carrots to the pot. Sauté until translucent and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pot to a bowl, cover and set aside.

glazed-oxtail-4.jpgglazed-oxtails-5.jpg

3 Add the bottle of wine to the pot. Increase the heat to as high as it will go, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil the wine, uncovered, until it is reduced to about a cup.

glazed-oxtails-6.jpgglazed-oxtails-7.jpg

4 Return the oxtails to the pot (but not the vegetables). Add the stock and enough water to just cover them. Add the thyme. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, covered. Simmer on the stovetop for 3 hours. (You can also place the simmering oxtails into a 350°F oven for the same amount of time if the oven is more convenient.) Add the vegetables back to the pot when you have about a half hour left to go.

5 Remove from heat and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator overnight so that the flavors blend and the fat on the surface solidifies, making it easier to remove. You can skip this step, but the oxtails will be better if they are chilled in this state overnight.

glazed-oxtails-8.jpgglazed-oxtails-9.jpg

6 The next day, remove the pot from the refrigerator and scrape off the layer of rendered fat that has solidified on top of the oxtails. If you are not waiting for the oxtails to chill, the fat still needs to be removed. If working with a room temperature or warm pot, use a fat separator or a large metal spoon to skim away the fat.

glazed-oxtails-10.jpgglazed-oxtails-11.jpg
glazed-oxtails-12.jpgglazed-oxtails-13.jpg

7 Heat the oxtails on medium heat. Cook uncovered for about another half an hour, or until the meat can easily be pulled off the bones. Then use a slotted spoon to remove the oxtails from the pot. Let cool enough to touch. Use your hands to remove the meat from the bones to a bowl. Take care to remove as well the round tough cartilage caps on either end of the vertebrae.

8 (Optional, if you want a smoother glaze) While the oxtails are cooling in the step above, strain the mixture in the pot, discarding the solids and returning the liquid to the pot. Increase the heat to high to bring the liquid to a boil.

glazed-oxtails-14.jpgglazed-oxtails-15.jpg

9 When the liquid has reduced by about a half, add the oxtail meat back to the pot. Bring to a boil, continue to boil away the liquid until it has reduced to a light syrupy consistency. As the mixture boils down, you may want to reduce the heat to a simmer, and stir the oxtails a little so that the glaze doesn't burn and so that the meat doesn't stick to the pan. When the right consistency, remove from heat and serve.

Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, egg noodles, or rice. (Avoid egg noodles if cooking gluten-free.)

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.

Comments

  1. Kiirsten

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I know that I was waiting for you to publish it. I have oxtail in my freezer. Looking forward to tasting this dish. Thanks!!
    Kirsten

  2. Stephanie

    Oxtails are my favorite cut of meat these day! I braise them with everything, but my favorite stew includes tomatoes, kidney beans, yams, carrots, and Indian spices for the recipe on my site. I hadn’t added wine to my oxtail stew, but I think I’ll give it a try next time.

    This recipe looks wonderful, with the syrupy glaze. I’m definitely giving this a try.

  3. Deanna

    I know that if people could just get past the name, they would love oxtails more than short ribs. I definitely do. This recipe sounds fantastic. I will add it to my to make list asap.

  4. Becki's Whole Life

    I have never had oxtails before, but I see them on sale at my store all the time. Better than short ribs?? If you say so, I am going to try them…your description sounds divine and the recipe sounds no fail!

  5. Patti

    Looks amazing!! I’ve never had ox tails but I adore short ribs so I’m thinking that I might love this too! The picture is stunning! Enjoy your site so much!

  6. Majisto Claren

    Have not tried this recipe, but I will – ox tails are a truly delicious cut and should not be overlooked because they are less typical than other cuts. I also think that this recipe would make nice shanks.

  7. Bronwyn

    We had Oxtail stew regularly when I was a kid. Loved it. This looks yummier though.

    Incidentally, I have a recipe book in which the author remarks that her children used to call Oxtail stew, Aeroplane stew. After they had sucked the bones clean, they looked like tiny, stubby aeroplanes!

    That’s cute. The bones do sort of look like stubby airplanes. ~Elise

  8. Mary

    Sounds delicious. I do something similar with lamb shanks. Lots of onions cooked right down for flavour, chicken stock and red capsicum. Cook it for a couple of hours and the flavours merge and the meat is tender and yummy. I’ve never tried oxtail, but will give it a go. Thanks for the recipe and for your website. I stumbled across it accidentally and I love it

  9. Erica

    Oh my-I live in a rural area and can’t get past what cow tails look like with caked on mud and worse. It may be delicious but I can’t think of eating that part of a steer.

    I don’t see how oxtails are any different in that respect from rump roast or beef shanks. ~Elise

  10. Terry in Colchester, VT

    Elise, Your updates are like gifts when they arrive and I can’t wait to open them. Today I received the latest 5 postings and I want to make them all RIGHT NOW. The oxtails will be our Sunday Dinner, and I have a big cabbage just waiting for the right inspiration, and it will soon become acquainted with the butter and caraway seed.

  11. KariVery

    so funny – after reading the comment above about airplane stew, I realized that we had this all the time growing up too, but we were picky eaters, so our parents never told us they were oxtails – EWWWW!! I loved it though, and will definitely be making this. I think I will be leaving the meat on the bones, though, as my parents did. Elise, just wondering if you used the bones in your picture for anything else – a lovely necklace, perhaps? (Just kidding – was wondering if you used them for stock or something)

    Hmm, maybe a skeletal biology lesson? I bet the neighbor kids down the street would think it cool to reconstruct the tail bones with some wire. Can’t make stock with them, they’ve already cooked so long, all the goodness has come out of them and into the braising liquid. ~Elise

  12. Maia Brindley Nilsson

    Yum! For some reason you can’t get beef short ribs in Sweden. I have yet to figure out where that part of the cow goes, but you don’t seem to be able to buy it. I hadn’t thought about oxtails instead. Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. Michele Hays @QuipsTravails

    mmMMmmmmMMMM! Those look incredibly tasty!

    It’s kind of a shame that people have “discovered” oxtails – you used to be able to get them for free, and now they’re like $6/lb. However, they are totally worth it! They top my list of 3 favorite “variety” meats, along with tongue and heart.

  14. Lisa

    I grew up with oxtails and really miss them. Now I’m going to have to find some and make this dish. It looks absolutely wonderful.

  15. AG Wright

    I used to get oxtail stew at a soul food restaurant when I lived in Texas.
    It was very delicious. This looks better though.
    Could the slow cooking part be done in a crock pot?

    Yes, the slow cooking part could easily be done in a slow cooker. ~Elise

  16. Virginia

    A superb recipe for an under utilized cut of meat. Oxtail has an unique flavor that easily becomes addictive. I think I gained ten pounds one winter making Oxtail stew. I enjoy your recipes and I am glad you have posted this recipe. Oxtail will now get some respect.

  17. Angela

    I love oxtail and here in Provence it is often served in a stew with Pot au feu or some such and its not cheap as it is in UK.
    Love the look of this and was eying up some oxtail at the butchers just the other day, will have to get some toute suite and try this recipe.

  18. Miles Clubb

    Are the cartilage caps to be removed in order to be consumed or to remove the meat?

    The cartilage caps are hard, you don’t want to eat them, but they can easily come off with the meat as you strip the meat from the bones, and end up with the meat. So look for them and make sure you discard them with the bones. ~Elise

  19. Christina

    Well, I *had* taken the oxtails out of the freezer for oxtail stew, but I think I might have to try this instead…

  20. Jennifer

    Thank you for bringing back such great memories. My grandma used to cook oxtails similar to this. I remember she told me to always let the meat sit overnight, it would be doubly good the next day. I don’t think she used wine, I believe hers was tomato based. Still, thanks for the recipe!

  21. Patty

    Another fantastic recipe! Thanks so much Elise. I doubled the batch, one half I simmered on the stove, the other half I put in the oven at 350 degrees, both for 3 hours. I covered both dutch ovens with their lids.
    I found that the batch from the oven came out a lot more tender than the batch that simmered on the stove. Also, the glaze tasted a lot richer and more concentrated. I definitely recommend the oven method.

  22. Pamela

    Mmmmm… we West Indians love our oxtails. We usually braise it with carrots and potatoes and serve it with rice and peas or plain white rice. This dish looks delicious and I will definitely try it.

  23. Morticia

    Saw the picture and had to give it a try. Absolutely the best dish ever …. Didn’t tell the kids what it was (picky eaters) and they enjoyed. Definately doing this again :o)

  24. suzanne

    fabulous recipe – I cook oxtail often and this is one of the best.
    just need to ask – why the two amounts of oil in the recipe?

    highly recommended!

    suzanne

  25. richard

    why ever would you remove the bones? They are so succulent and juicy. There are restaurants charging $30 a pop for the marrow