Glazed Oxtails

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


  • 4 pounds of oxtails
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin 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


1 Brown the oxtails: Heat 2 tablespoons olive 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.

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2 Sauté onions, celery, carrots: 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.


3 Deglaze pan with wine, reduce: 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 Add oxtails, stock, water, thyme, simmer 3 hours: 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.)

5 Add the vegetables back to the pot when you have about a half hour left to go.

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6 Chill: 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.

7 Remove excess fat: 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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8 Reheat, remove meat from bones: 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.

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9 Strain pot liquids, discard solids, reduce sauce: (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.

10 Return oxtails to pot, simmer until sauce reduces to a glaze: 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.

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

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  • William Benner

    Thank you for sharing your recipe looks good also I will be making this tomorrow but in my pressure cooker

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nadine, I haven’t made this in a pressure cooker, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • 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

  • 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!


  • 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)


  • 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.


  • Aubrey

    wonderful recipe, thank you! made it last night and it was heaven, absolute heaven.


  • 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.

  • Allyn

    We’ve recently come to LOVE oxtails, and everyone thinks we’re very strange.
    This is my favorite current recipe:
    but I’ll have to try yours!

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Dawn

    Thanks for the recipe, Elise. I grew up in the Caribbean and Oxtail is really popular. I’m used to eating Oxtail in a brown stew but I’d love to try your take on it. For a super Caribbean-style Oxtail recipe, check out this one:

    That looks great, thanks Dawn! ~Elise

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Stephanie Stiavetti

    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.