Slowly braised oxtail cooked in stock and wine makes for a rich and flavorful meal that is sure to impress.
If you’re looking for a special dinner dish that has great beefy taste and is so comforting, this braised oxtail recipe is what you want. The oxtails are first browned, then slowly cooked in a braising liquid with beef stock and red wine along with tomato paste and herbs.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Is Oxtail?
Oxtails are a cut of meat that come from the tail of cattle. They come on the bone and are rich and flavorful thanks to plenty of fat and collagen. While it used to be a cheaper cut of beef, scarcity and demand have made it one of the higher priced portions. They’re not always available in grocery stores or butcher shops, so you may need to call ahead and check or place an order.
How Long Do Oxtails Take To Cook?
Oxtails are often used in soups and stews because they benefit from a long cook time to break down the cartilage. For this oxtail recipe, we’ll be braising them in a Dutch oven with beef stock and red wine for about four hours. You can try out my Oxtail Soup recipe for another take on this great ingredient.
How To Make Braised Oxtails
First, preheat your oven to 275°F, we want to cook the oxtails low and slow. If your oxtails have a lot of fat, you can trim off the excess before you get started.
Combine the flour, salt, and onion powder in a bowl and toss the oxtails in the seasoning mix. Reserve any excess seasoned flour to be added for thickening later.
Heat some oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add your flour-coated oxtails and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are well browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the browned oxtails to a plate and set aside momentarily.
Reduce the heat to medium and add your onions, rosemary, and bay leaves to the Dutch oven. Cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add the leftover seasoned flour and stir for a minute.
Next, add in the red wine and beef stock and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and allow the sauce to thicken. Turn off the heat, return the oxtails to the Dutch oven, and stir to coat in sauce.
Cover and place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven to braise for 4 hours. At the end of cooking, you will see some fat on the surface. You can skim that off, if you’d like. I usually do. But if you want a real treat, stir it well and it will incorporate incorporate into the sauce and add so much flavor.
Using A Beurre Manié To Thicken
If you get to the end of the braising time and feel like your sauce isn’t thick enough, there’s no need to panic. You can make a beurre manié to thicken before serving. What’s that? It’s a mixture of equal parts of butter and flour that you make by mixing together softened butter and flour until it forms a dough. You can refrigerate it once it’s made, and then add it by the dollop to soups and stews for thickening.
You might be thinking that this is similar to a roux, and it is because it is butter and flour. But, a roux is made with melted butter and is usually used at the beginning of cooking something. This is made with room temperature butter and is typically added at the end to finish a dish.
Beurre Manié Recipe
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. flour
- In a small bowl mix together butter and flour until a dough is formed.
- Cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
- To thicken liquids, add 1 tablespoon at a time to simmering liquid until desired thickness is reached.
How To Deal With Excess Fat
If your oxtails have a lot of fat, you can trim off excess fat before browning the oxtails. If you realize there’s more fat than you’d like after braising, you can skim the fat off with a spoon then.
However, as mentioned above, there’s a lot of good flavor in the fat, and that’s also where a lot of the characteristic bone marrow and collagen of the oxtail are found, so it’s kind of the whole point of oxtails. So go ahead and skim it off if you like, but it’s probably best to not waste any of that good stuff and instead stir it in. The fat will incorporate into the sauce once it’s stirred well, giving you that rich taste that oxtails are known for.
Serving Braised Oxtail
I really enjoy serving this braised oxtail recipe over mashed potatoes, but you could also serve with rice or polenta. You can also serve it as more of an oxtail stew and enjoy with some fresh bread. This rich and cozy meal is sure to please however you serve it up.
More Slow-Cooked Beef Recipes
- Classic Beef Stew
- The Perfect Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Chuck Roast
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Classic Short Ribs
- Instant Pot Short Ribs
- Beef Brisket
Braised Oxtail Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Entrée
- Method: Braised
- Cuisine: American
The amount of juice and fat the oxtails release during cooking will vary. If the sauce becomes too thin during braising, use one or two tablespoons of Beurre Manié to thicken the sauce. See above for details.
- 2 and ½ lbs. beef oxtails
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 and ¼ cup beef stock
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Trim any excess fat off of the oxtails, if desired.
- In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and onion powder. Add half of the oxtails to the seasoning mix and toss to coat. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oxtails. Reserve any remaining flour for Step #5.
- In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add oxtails. Cook, turning occasionally until all sides of the oxtails are well-browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer oxtails to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, rosemary sprig, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add your reserved seasoned flour and stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add red wine and beef stock. Stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and allow sauce to thicken. Turn off heat.
- Return oxtails to Dutch oven and stir to coat in sauce. Cover and place into preheated oven. Cook for 4 hours.
- Remove from oven and uncover. There will likely be fat on the surface. Use a spoon to skim the fat off of the top and discard it, then stir and serve OR do not skim off the fat and instead stir to incorporate it into the sauce. Serve immediately.
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