Glazed Oxtails

Favorite WinterGluten-FreeLow CarbBeef

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

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

“Now this is how oxtails should taste,” my father declared after taking a bite of these glazed oxtails. I couldn’t agree more. We have a thing for oxtails in our family. Oxtail stew was a favorite winter dish my mom prepared when we were growing up.

If you are unfamiliar with oxtails, they are tails of steers, typically sold cut into segments. Most of what you buy is bone, and the meat is well exercised and fatty, so oxtail preparations lend themselves to slow cooking. Much like short-ribs, but in my opinion, even better. Think of the best pulled pork imaginable, but with beef.

In this recipe the oxtails are first browned, then slow cooked with red wine and stock. Then the segments are removed so you can strip the meat off of them and the liquid is reduced to a glaze. It’s actually pretty easy to make, most of the cooking time is hands-off while the oxtails are simmering.

Glazed Oxtails Recipe

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

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.


  • 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


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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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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Glazed Oxtails

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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25 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Mathew Price

    Wow. All I can say. It was so Tender and delicious. Served over rice. Was skeptical about making because the lengthy process but was well rewarded for my time. Thanks.


  • Nadine Singer

    Can this be made in a pressure cooker? At least to speed up the cooking portion perhaps?

  • Sophie

    Made this last week and it was a massive hit. I made your braised short ribs last year, so I knew there were things I wanted to tweak since this recipe is so similar. I added 2 tablespoons of chili flakes to give it a mild kick (it worked!) and also added a half cup of nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) before allowing it to simmer to give the broth an additional subtle layer of flavor.

    I kept the oxtail whole when I served it. I served it over your colcannon recipe and drizzled the gravy over the whole thing. It was heavenly. My boyfriend gnawed the bare bones like a man possessed and beamed out with delight when I said he could bring the leftovers to lunch the next day.

    Thank you for the recipe. I love your site and rave about it all the time to friends and family.

  • Jack Burton

    Clean the meat first by soaking in vinegar for a few minutes. This also helps to break down the proteins in the meat. If you feel the meat isn’t getting tender quick enough while cooking, you can add some white or red wine vinegar to the pot but not too much, like a tablespoon. Before I brown the meat, I melt some duck fat in the pan and fry some sliced shallots, sliced scallions and sliced scotch bonnet peppers. Then I flour and brown the meat in the pan with those veggies. While it’s cooking I add a decent amount of Worcestershire sauce to the pot. I also add Sriracha for some more heat and a slight sweetness. Also, you gotta add at least a bay leaf or two to the pot.

  • richard

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

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