Shannell: you asked if the wine was “cooking wine” or just wine. Here is a tip from an old Chef – If you wouldn’t enjoy drinking it, DONT USE IT!” As a Chef I hated when Managers or execs gave me cruddy wine thinking it made no difference! They wanted to pass off the losers to the kitchen! You mix in lousy tasting wine in the food and guess what? The dish tastes lousy. There are rare cases where true bottled ‘cooking wine’ may be called for, but it is usually salted (yuk!), rather acidic and not palatable. Don’t waste money on true ‘cooking wine’, as we have darn good wines available at the supermarkets. Just st let your tongue guide you.
I served this to a group of friends who loved it! I substituted extra potatos for the rutabegas but otherwise made just as the recipe called for. My only comment would be to add less red wine the next time as that flavor was a little overwhelming. Otherwise this is excellent and I’ll make it again.
Red wine? Is that cooking red wine or real red wine?
Hi Shanell, only red wine that you like to drink should be used. So, real red wine.
In the old times we used to dust the bones with flour before roasting them in the pan so the stew was a bit thick. We served it with mash potatoes that fills you up as rice and veggies are so light on the meal and at least I get hungry sooner.
I grew up in Singapore. Oxtail stew is thought to be an import from the Brits, who wanted their rich, hearty comfort foods even in the tropics. The Singaporean version tends to be more associated with the Eurasians (the descendants of European immigrants who migrated there), and as far as I know, it tends to have carrots and potatoes. My family served it over rice. It’s also picked up a lot of variations, and the style my mom cooked was a soy sauce broth with star anise and perhaps some other spices, but no tomatoes. I also just made this with gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) and soy sauce.
My wife, a Minnesotan, refused to let me cook her oxtail stew in the summer. She had never heard of this dish before marrying me.
I just cooked this tonight substituting potatoes and carrots with taro root and it was delicious! Taro cooks very quickly, so it was cooked in the liquid for about 20 minutes. I used a bit more onion than stated in the recipe and used water instead of stock. Thank you for the recipe!
Anyone know the calorie and protein count for a serving of this
Mine didn’t turn out so hot. I followed the directions but after three plus hours, probably closer to four in the end, the oxtail wasn’t that tender. The last time I made oxtail the meat just fell off the bone, but this time it just didn’t seem nearly as tender. I thought maybe it was cooking it on the stove top instead of placing the dutch oven in the oven. Anyhow, unfortunately kind of disappointed with the results. But I’ll try again as I’m sure with a little more heat it’ll turn out next time.
Hi Scott, sometimes meat is really tough and you just have to cook it longer (though not at a higher heat). If it is at a low simmer, the temperature is right. I once had to cook moose meat 8 hours to get it tender.
yes…hours & hours…which i’m getting ready to do now…am dicing vegetables.
oxtail stew in 100 degree weather>? hah. but i havent made it in years, & have been craving some…so oxtail stew for the company, it is!
I’m from South Africa. Here we have oxtail all the time and we have been making it for generations. I’ve had the same problem with oxtail before that did not want to fall off the bone, even after hours off cooking. I noticed that the quality off the meat has a lot to do with that, the better the quality the softer the meat. Also check for packs with not a lot of small tail pieces as these always seem tougher. The nice big pieces with the bone in that looks more like a flower are much more tender than the smaller pieces with the straight bone. Hope this helps, rather pay more for better quality and you will see the difference in the end result.
Oxtail needs 8 hours minimum in a slow cooker, on low.
An old saying:-
“If it ain’t falling off the bone, it ain’t cooked.”
My husband threw me a curve while shopping for the stew ingredients today, he want to sub the oxtail with cubes of beef, do you think this recipe will work that way?
If you make it with beef cubes, be sure to use chuck shoulder that is well marbled with fat. The recipe will then make a hearty beef stew.
It won’t be an ox tail stew. Ox tail has its own unique flavour.
Indeed it does.
no it certainly would NOT be oxtail stew…it would be beef stew!
Well, I’m going to give this a try. I just purchased Oxtail for the first time in Calgary , Alberta. Beef country here and not inexpensive despite purchasing it from a local discount grocer. Luxury at 16.29 per kilo or 7.50 per lb.
i made the ox tails like the recipe ..but iadded some guajillo chillis..mmmmm .the bomb..you have to hydrate them ..and put them in a bender..then add to your soup stock..
Elise this was so good, thanks for the post. First time to cook oxtails, did it in a pressure cooker. The leftovers were even better. Thank you!
People were complaining about the price of the oxtails but never saying what they paid for them. I paid $5.99 a pound at Whole Foods in Minneapolis.
BTW my mom used to cook brains, liver, tongue etc all the time growing up but we never had oxtail.
I made this about a year ago for the first time, and let me say that it was amazing. It was the first time I had had oxtail, at all, and it’s true that when mom used to talk about it she got this wistful, happy face and I wanted to see what all the hubub was about. Needless to say I am like that now. I also learned that day that I disliked turnips, a lot, they’re from Satan I’m convinced of it-rubber bands batman! So, instead, I doubled the parsnips this time, added around a fourth of a daikon radish, and it came out heavenly. Use the best red wine you can afford. It adds a great depth of flavor to the meat. I’m making this again tomorrow and I can’t wait! This, Coq Au Vin, and many of my squash recipes make the Fall well worth waiting for!
How can anyone go without trying this? The collagen that the marrow gives the broth is amazing, and the meat is just… divine. Even here in Texas most people look at me funny when I say I’m making oxtail and we love our beef! Shame it’s such a down and out cut, even today.
Mmm, this sounds delicious. At the moment there’s a lot of kangaroo available cheaply (there’s a cull underway), I wonder how this would work with roo tail? It’d certainly be meatier, and probably in need of even longer, slower cooking…I will consult with my local butcher and report back if I try it. Oxtail is a bit hit and miss, it’s cheap when you can get it but you have to ask the butcher in advance (I suspect it goes home with them rather than being thrown out, and it’s the same story with lamb neck, which makes a divine ragu).
I’ve had braised lamb neck, which is outstanding. Love these more flavorful cuts! ~Elise
Wow! You stated the following:
“Have you ever had oxtails? Most people I know haven’t even heard of them, which is really quite a shame.”
I live in the USA, I don’t know ANYONE who has NOT heard of oxtails or short ribs! They are an AMERICAN standard! Especially, since most recipes for oxtails and shortribs (for Americans here for three generations or longer) originated in England and Germany. Oxtails are highly popular in the American southern & midwestern states. They are very popular for stews and soups. Some people cook them with a brown gravy or brown soup stock base or a tomato base gravy or soup stock. EVERYONE I KNOW grew up with oxtails or shortribs! I keep a pressure cooker skillet, so that anytime, my cravings for them can be satisfied in only 45 minutes! Life without oxtails or shortribs is no life at all!
One tip, if you add 1 tsp of Allspice or Mace, it will give them a fuller bodied flavor, Browning Stew seasoning liquid (used sparingly or it will overpower the dish ; i.e., approx 2 Tblspns ), 1/3rd cup of molasses, 1/2 cup of soy sauce & a few hot peppers (seeds removed, 1 or 2 Knorr beef bouillon cubes, 1 green bell pepper (optional) onions, garlic of course.
My grandmother used Allspice or Mace when cooking stews along with a small bit of Molasses paired with Worchestershire sauce (sweet balancing salt/savory flavors). You have to, experiment with these flavors to get them right, but once you do you will love it. Just a tiny bit of Allspice or Mace really gives beef a, “full bodied foundation,” but DO NOT much Allspice or Mace (1/2 tsp AT A TIME TO TASTE ! )(maximum 1 Tblspn ). Mexican cooking uses Cinnamon and/or Chocolate Powder when cooking beef, it really gives the beef a more, “solid,” flavor. Middle Eastern recipes also include Cinnamon in meats AND fish dishes. Old fashioned American kitchens used Allspice or Mace in most meat dishes. You rarely see recipes today including them, what a shame.
I made this yesterday and it was a big hit with the family. My broth seemed to have gotten soaked up or evaporated, so I ended up adding more broth. Maybe I cooked it too long or used too large of a pot? But the flavor was wonderful and the meat was super tender. Thanks for the recipe.
Is it necessary to use wine? My family has never liked the flavor of anything with wine ( I have hidden the ingredient and they still detect wine….)
Can I omit and substitute more broth?
You can easily omit the wine and substitute with more broth. ~Elise
I made this for my mother because she said she had some oxtails to use up. It turned out that she had one big tail… I had to boil it until the meat fell off. I never did taste it, but she and her guests said it was wonderful and asked for the recipe. Thank you for this, apparently it was a hit and I’ll have to make it again for myself, but with cut up oxtails so I can suck the meat off the bone instead of having to boil it off and chop it up!
I made this tonight, and YUM! I’m embarrassed to say what I paid for the oxtails, so this won’t get made again until they go on sale, but what a rich and decadent treat. The broth is like liquid mojo, and I now have four pints cooling on the counter in glass jars for dinners on the go.
I have a Potjie (pronounced ‘poi-kee’) Pot from South Africa. On the continent, Oxtail is cheap and cooked to perfection. One way is in this Potjie pot on a bar-b-que or charcoal “braai” or just some coals on the ground and the pot on top. They braise the onion and garlic for a few monments, add the meat, season, add liquid and let it go for a couple of hours adding the hardest veggies first: 1. potatoes 2. Carrots and so on. In about three hours it is done. (Not as healthy as this version because there is no seperation of fat). They serve with rice, mash, and a great South Africa wine.
Thanks for the answer regarding the liquid.
The oxtails are on the second hour of cooking now. I will finish the recipe tomorrow. I did not use any wine but all chicken broth.
What do you think about cooking the carrots, turnips, and parsnips in a pan instead of roasting in an oven? I thought it might be good to get some caramelization on the veggies.
Sure, pan roasting works too. ~Elise
The photos look great but that really looks like a lot more than four cups of liquid, especially after cooking for three hours.
Beef is 60% water. So when it slowly cooks, it releases a lot of liquid. This is why you can make a pot roast starting with only 1/2 a cup of water. ~Elise
This recipe was worth every second put into it. Its one of the best things I have ever eaten, REALLY! Dont be afraid of this just cook it and eat it!!! My next door neighbors came over to ask what smelled so good, I fed them and turned them into oxtail believers as well :) this is some good stuff
Made this last night and it was very easy. The broth was really savory. Two thumbs up, thanks for the great recipe!
I just made this last night. Not bad. Pretty good actually. I cooked it with a slow cooker overnight and it was pretty good. It was my first time cooking with parsnips and it has a funky earthy flavor that I’m not sure if I loved. It didn’t seem necessary to have it there.
Can any one tell me the best things to serve with an Oxtail Stew?
I thought maybe rice or mashed potatoes, what else?
**Dumplings, cooked with the oxtail comes out super good!
In my family we do a different version.We saute oxyails until browned and then boil for a couple of hours then add celery, chopped tomatoes, cilantro , cumin , garlic powder and salt into broth for another hour. Add cabbage, potatoes, carrots,and pieces of corn on the cob,cook until just about done the add squash. Great for a nice winter day. You will need a large stock pot for this version and lots of people because this makes a lot.
I am cooking this dish for the first time. It sounds like a great flavorful dish. My wife is from the mid west and grew up on oxtails cooked in many different forms. Was there any problems anyone had or something I might need to watch out for or add?
Hard to go wrong with oxtails. ~Elise
Can you do this in a slow cooker. I just found some in a supermarket by my grandmother’s and picked up 2 packages since they are tough to come by in stores by me.
I don’t have much time these days with training for a half marathon and work and trying to find 3 people jobs in these hard times so was wondering if I could pretty much cook this in my slow cooker, aside from braising the meat a bit and sauteeing the veggies to get them to a nice color and get them sweating so they release their flavors, but after that do you think a slow cooker for 4-6 hours would be ok?
Yes, if you brown them (not braise) them first, you can easily cook them in a slow cooker. ~Elise
I love this recipe for oxtail stew. I found that by adding horseradish, it became even better.
I have no idea why but it just adds something to the overall flavor.
Oxtails were a long lost recipe from my child hood, until I saw your revision for Oxtail Stew. Then when Costco had some oxtails for sale, I just had to try it out. I like to adapt recipes for the slow cooker, and though this would be an excellent candidate to try.
After browning the oxtails and onion/celery mixture, I added them to the slow cooker, then used the broth and wine to deglaze the pan and brought them to a simmer before adding to the slow cooker, with the thyme and bay leaf. I left the slow cooker on low for 12 hours. I removed the oxtails and strained the liquid and placed both in the fridge overnight. The next day I skimmed the fat off the liquid and deboned the meat, and finished as per your recipe, only I added two quartered onions to the vegetables being roasted.
This stew was awesome!!! My only comment is that the sauce was more brothy like soup, than the thicker sauce I am used to in a stew. The flavor, however was perfect so adding flour as a thickener may have detracted from the great flavor.
I am a relative new comer to your blog, but so far every recipe of yours I have tried has been excellent. Next will be your oven roasted corned beef for our post St. Patty’s day party.
Add flour for a thicker stew.
This looks delicious. I have some good rich lamb stock I made with the remnants of my Christmas gigot – any thoughts on how this would work with oxtail? Too overpowering? I usually only use lamb stock for lamb dishes, but i think it might work well for this.
Hi Nelly, Your guess is as good as mine on this one. ~Elise
You can buy oxtails from your local “carniceria”, which many mexican food markets have. I’ve even found carniceria in very small mexican produce stores here on the west coast. So if you have such an area of town, give them a try.
As for this recipe, I find that all of this separate cooking is unnecessary. I always place my root vegetables and potatoes, if used, in the pot with the oxtail after it has simmered for a few hours. And the question about crock pots, you could use a crock, but only if you follow the brasing steps first. It is essential that the oxtail be seasoned and braised first, the onions sauted, and the pan seasoned with the red wine, then simmered down. Only then can you put all the ingredients together in a crock.
You can of course, just add the root vegetables in with the stew for the last hour of cooking. Roasting them separately though allows them to caramelize a bit, adding even more depth of flavor to the stew. ~Elise
My Braised Oxtail Stew recipe, simple but great gravy!
BRAISED OXTAIL IN WHITE WINE
3 Tbs. shortening
3 Tbs. flour
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3~4 lbs. oxtail, in 2″ pieces
1-1/2 cups pearl onions
1-1/2 cups baby carrots
3 cups beef broth
1 bottle white wine (750 ml)
2 ea. bay leaves
1. Melt shortening in hvy. skillet.
2. Mix flour, salt & pepper, roll oxtail pieces in flour, brown in shortening until colored, transfer to casserole.
3. Cook onions in skillet, when lightly brown, add to casserole.
4. Pour in broth & wine, stir, add bay leaves.
5. Cover, bake at 300°F (150°C) ~3 hrs., add carrots in last hr.
6. Remove bay leaves, cool, remove fat, reheat.
Love the oxtail stew with peanut sauce. Just like Nate’s style of
cooking. It is a Filipino dish, I just buy the ready mix powder and add some peanut butter with bok choy, green beans and eggplant. I would like this on my last meal, and of course served with rice
and salty shrimp paste on the side.
Hi Elise… this is sooo good! In Brazil we add watercress on top just before serving…
Oxtail Stew is common in Miami’s Cuban restaurants. Almost every place has a version of Rabo Encendido (Rabo=Tail, Encendido=Spicey, Piquant), or Rabo al Vino (in wine sauce). They are similar, but the spicey version will have a subtle kick (red pepper flakes or tiny pinch of chopped hot chilies–Cuban food is NEVER hot in the Mexican sense), and the wine sauce version relies more on the wine in the cooking broth for richness.
It is made essentially in the manner posted here, but the traditional “sofrito” (q.v.) base is more of a Creole Trinity (diced onion and green pepper 2:1, with garlic to taste; seasoned with s/p, oregano, bay leaf and optionally flavored with a little diced tomato or tomato sauce to taste).
I like to mix the mirepoix (onion, celery, carrots), as in the posted recipe, with the trinity for added flavor and richness in the undertones of the braising broth and eventual sauce. I also add a bit of thyme, again as in the posted recipe, which is a nice complement to the oregano.
Best of both worlds in the seasoning…and delicious, tender, beef either way.
LOL – oxtail stew for the Year of the Ox! I grew up with oxtail and have always loved it. There’s nothing quite like it on a cold winter night. My mom always used to swear by eating it only once it’s been cooked twice, so when I posted about it a while back, I highlighted this double cooking:
Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Hi Jeanne – Cool! I’ve added your post to the additional links on the recipe. ~Elise
Love oxtail. I grew up with an asian version of this dish that my mom made during the wintertime. It has oxtail with carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, tomatoes and cabbage all in one big soup/stew. We’d then have it on its own or pour it over some rice and top with a little Maggi (type of soy sauce).
I grew up eating oxtail. One of my favorite dishes was an oxtail peanut “curry.”
Slow cook the oxtail with salt and water for several hours. Chill over night and scrape off the fat. Saute finely chopped onion and minced garlic, add annatto dissolved in oil or water. Add some old-fashioned peanut butter and Asian shrimp paste. Add the reserved oxtail broth and oxtail. Add bok choy (or Chinese cabbage), haricot vert, and slices of Chinese eggplant. Simmer until everything is cooked. Serve on top of rice! My dad also likes to add some ground sweet rice that has been toasted (it thickens the sauce).
What an unusual (for me) way to prepare oxtails! I bet it is delicious. Thank you for sharing. ~Elise
Thanks for the update.
So does it matter whether you braise in the oven or on top of the stove?
Nope, no difference. I just find it easier to check on when it’s on the stove-top, and it may take less electricity to cook it on the stove versus in the oven. ~Elise
This is a wonderfull dish and is actually a chart topper for Jamaicans. Usually we add butter beans to the stew with a slight variation to the preparation and we serve it with Jamaican style rice & beans, some fried plantains and greens. Which is what I made it this past sunday with a fresh bowl of rum punch, it was a great meals and for dessert home made bread pudding. Needless to say our friends had a blast!
When you say you cook the oxtail the night before and scrape off the fat, do you cook the whole stew the night before or do you brown the oxtail, put it in the fridge and scrape off the fat that way?
You cook the whole stew (wait on adding the roasted vegetables). The fat will rise to the top of the liquid because it is a lighter density than water. It will solidify and you can easily scrape it off the top of the stew. ~Elise
Your recipe is quite similar, except for some seasonings, to my mother’s from long ago (I’m 75) but she would be rolling over in her grave because you cook then discard all the early vegetables. She did not know, of course, about roasting veggies so she put the bigger chunks in late in the game after using a potato masher on the overcooked vegetables. Made for a richer gravy. And except that I hated (and still hate) parsnips I loved the oxtails and it was the talk of Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn.
Elise, what a wonderful coincidence! The hubby asked me last night to make oxtail for him, but I have never made it, so I told him I would look it up online. I did not need to, because my feeder brought me your recipe. Looks like the hubby will have seconds and thirds… :D
Ok, so I’m probably one of the few who have never tried oxtail stew. I’ve always heard about it though and have been curious. After seeing your beautiful photographs I had to try it, especially knowing I could easily find the oxtails at my neighborhood Asian market. OH MY! Because of the long cooking time, I had to eat it a little later than my usual dinnertime but it was well worth the wait and the expense! Thanks for sharing!
I agree with melikefood! In my family we do the stew OR we have oxtails and rice with greens or cabbage on the side, and cornbread. Getting hungry just thinking about it!!! And to Andrea, try it first before using the flour method. A thicker gravy does nothing for the flavor. Most of it comes from the marrow.
Instead of red wine, use dark beer such as Guinness or any dark beer you can find. Gives a different flavour.
This looks beautiful! I generally serve stew ladled over creamy polenta, but I’d like to try this recipe just as you suggest – plain or with some crunch French bread on the side. Simply divine…
How long did this take you to make, Elise?
Korean cuisine has our own version of Oxtail soup too. You just slow cook it for a lot of hours (probably 6-7) and the meat becomes tender and fall right off the bone. You drain the fat, top it with scallions/corase salt then you eat it alongside rice, kimchi. :)
I also enjoy oxtail in Cuban restaurants!
The oxtails took about 3 hours to cook to get tender enough. We did chill it overnight to make it easier to remove the excess fat. I haven’t seen oxtails in Cuban restaurants but will keep an eye out, thanks! ~Elise
In my family–oxtails are very commonplace fare. Black culture –at least in my part of the south–rarely make a stew of them though. THey are cooked with a little onion and garlic until tender and with little stock that will be turned into a light gravy. Naturally, we serve wtih rice and simmered greens and johnny cakes with molasses. I love soul food!
The stew looks wonderful! I love to use oxtails in my beef barley soup, when I can find them.
I saw a dish on TFN the other day where the chef made an oxtail “marmalade”with the meat, which was basically a caramelized stew. He served it with the marrow bones and toast points. Anne Burrell was drooling over it and so was I!
I’ve revised this recipe from my oxtail stew recipe originally posted in 2005. (Why the revision? mostly wanted to get more flavor by roasting the root vegetables separately.) If you are looking for the original recipe, here it is:
3 lbs oxtails with separated joints
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups stock
1 cup water
2 cups of red wine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 cups chopped vegetables – carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup tomato paste
Seasoning – salt and pepper, a pinch of thyme, one bay leaf
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Sear in a 5 or 6 quart dutch oven (or other tightly covered casserole dish) on all sides until golden brown. You may need to sear the oxtails in separate batches. Add 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, cook until translucent.
2. In a separate pan, heat stock, water, and wine together. Add stock mixture to meat in casserole pan. Add a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to simmer.
3. Place in oven and cook, covered, for 3 hours. Remove from oven, add vegetables, the rest of the onion, raisins, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, bay leaf. Return to the oven and cook for another hour.
4. Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes, and skim as much fat as you can from the surface.
Thanks for the recipe! I made it the other night and it was really good! I like that you don’t have to flour the oxtails before browning – that takes a step out of the recipe and makes clean up a bit easier.
Here’s a link to our post:
Hi Nate, I’ve revised the recipe since you posted this, but original recipe still works great. I’ve posted it in the following comment for those interested. ~Elise
Oxtail is one of the most underated meats with the most incredible flavour when cooked correctly. One of the best ways to cook it is in what we call a Potjie Pot.This is a traditional method of South African cooking. It is basically a large and heavy cast iron pot which is placed over an open fire. The best way I have found is to cook the oxtail very slowly over a low heat. Anywhere up to 8 hours may be necessary but thats all part of the fun. I guarantee the best flavoured & most tender oxtail you have ever had. Enjoy!!
Ox Tail stew is absolutely divine. As a variation, try adding dried apricots, or whole white button mushrooms, or canned butter beans, or even a combination of all three.
To Jack Gifford 1 Mar 2006
I cook my oxtail in a slow cooker and get excellent results. When you make a stew of it you need no side dish as it is a meal in itself.
Any crusty bread accompanies quite well.
If you are able to get Ostrich neck, you can add some of this to the oxtail. Cook exactly as you would the oxtail at the same time.
It is a bonier meat but tastes almost exactly the same, although a lot less fatty.
Can Ox Tail Soup (stew) be cooked in a slow cooker? On hi or low?
Yes, the bulk of the cooking of this oxtail stew can be cooked in a slow cooker. After the initial browning, I would cook it on low, not sure about how long, but when the meat is fork tender and easily comes off the bone, the meat is done. ~Elise
It’s also pretty good served over egg noodles or with French or Italian loaf bread. ~Elise
I’ve found oxtails in specialty meat markets and, as you said, they are expensive. However, we have a new Korean market in an old warehouse grocery store that carries oxtails at a very reasonable price. I’ve found several other items like ducks and geese that are also priced more competitively.
Tower Market in San Francisco often carries them, as well as Corti Brothers in Sacramento. Both stores will place special orders for them if they don’t have them in stock. It’s sad that most grocery stores don’t have butchers anymore and that we have to rely on specialty grocers for items like this. I’ve also seen them at Costco and Whole Foods. ~Elise
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