This rich Oxtail Stew recipe features tender meat braised in a rich and flavorful gravy. Made with incredibly straightforward step-by-step instructions, this is a recipe you will master for your first try even if it’s you’re first time working with oxtail.
Oh, oxtail stew! This is a favorite that many people haven’t had the pleasure of tasting. Oxtail meat isn’t easily found in North American grocery stores. Whenever I see it out in my travels, I always grab some even if they weren’t on my weekly dinner list. However, most butcher shops will carry it.
This stew is braised low and slow right on your stovetop with fresh ingredients and rich flavors. I guarantee your whole family will be oxtail superfans after giving this recipe a try!
What are oxtails?
This ingredient isn’t incredibly popular in North America, but it should be! They’re quite literally just cattle tails cut into small pieces. You’ll typically see oxtails braised low and slow. With this cooking preparation, they become incredibly tender, very similar to short ribs.
So if you like short ribs, you’ll love oxtail! The flavor is rich, beefy, and they’ll soak up any flavors you cook them down with. Truly a culinary treat! If you have never had the pleasure of trying oxtail, get ready for a new favorite dish.
Keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card for FULL ingredient amounts and instructions or click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page!
- Olive oil – Sunflower, safflower, avocado, grape seed, or vegetable oils can be used instead.
- Oxtails – Make sure they’re fully thawed before starting.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
- Onion – White or yellow work best.
- Green onion – Use more or less as per your preference, this is for garnish only.
- Garlic & ginger – Fresh is best!
- Tomato paste – Make sure it’s the paste – not sauce or pureed.
- Habanero – Use more, less, or none as you prefer. You can also use different varieties of peppers depending on your tolerance. One small habanero pepper will provide plenty of spice for this stew.
- Seasonings – Allspice, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaves.
- Soy sauce – You can also add a bit of Worcestershire if preferred.
- Beef broth – Other types of broth will work, but beef broth will give the deepest flavor.
- Lima beans – Butter beans, or white/navy beans will also work.
- Cornstarch – To thicken your stew.
How to make oxtail stew
- Sear the oxtails: Heat the olive oil in a large braiser or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the oxtails with salt and pepper, and sear them on all sides until browned. You may need to do this in batches. Transfer the oxtails to a plate and set the oxtails aside.
- Sauté: Add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent and softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and habanero, then stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the allspice, smoked paprika, soy sauce, tomato paste, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the paste browns slightly.
- Braise: Add the oxtails back to the pot. Stir in the beef broth, thyme, bay leaves and bring the pot to a boil. Turn the heat to low and cover with a lid slightly cracked. Simmer for 2 hours, remove the lid and stir in the butter beans, then simmer for another 30-45 minutes uncovered.
- Finish: Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Whisk the cornstarch with 1 tbsp water to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the pot and increase the heat to medium, stirring until the mixture thickens. Garnish with freshly chopped green onion.
How to serve oxtail stew
Traditionally, this recipe would be served over “rice and peas”, a dish made with spiced white rice and kidney beans. You can simply serve it over white rice if you’re looking for something nice and easy. There will be plenty of flavor in your stew!
You can also serve it over some potatoes, egg noodles, or even just enjoy the stew all on its own. If you’d like some variety on the table I would suggest homemade bread to help soak up that delicious stew along with a refreshing salad. Give these recipes a try:
- Rye Bread
- No Knead Bread
- Artisan Bread
- No Knead Skillet Bread
- Chickpea Tomato Salad
- Avocado Tomato Salad
- Kale and Quinoa Salad
How to store leftovers
Transfer your leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave, or on the stovetop. In a skillet, saucepan, or pot, heat the stew over medium heat. You can add more beef broth if needed. Let everything simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the oxtails are warmed through.
Your stew will also last 6-12 months frozen in an airtight container. While it’ll work best to let the stew thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating, you can reheat it straight from the freezer using either the microwave or stovetop.
Did you love this recipe? Try these:
- Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- Crockpot Beef Stew or Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Braised Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce
- Guinness Braised Short Ribs
- Braised Lamb Shanks
- Braised Greek Chicken Thighs