Oxtail Recipe: A Delicious and Easy-to-Make Dish for Any Occasion

Understanding Oxtail

If you’re new to cooking with oxtail, it’s important to understand what it is and how it’s different from other cuts of beef. Oxtail comes from the tail of cattle or veal, and it’s a bony, tough cut of meat that requires slow cooking to become tender.

The tail is made up of muscles and fatty tissue, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. It’s a popular ingredient in many cuisines, including African, Caribbean, and Asian, where it’s used in stews, soups, and braises.

When buying oxtail, look for pieces that are well-marbled with fat, as this will help keep the meat moist during cooking. It’s also important to trim off any excess fat before cooking, as this can make the dish too greasy.

To prepare oxtail for cooking, you’ll need to cut it into sections between the vertebrae. This can be a bit tricky, so it’s a good idea to ask your butcher to do it for you.

Overall, oxtail is a flavorful and versatile cut of meat that can be used in a variety of dishes. With a little patience and some simple cooking techniques, you can turn this tough cut into a delicious and satisfying meal.

Choosing the Right Oxtail

When it comes to choosing the right oxtail, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your recipe turns out as delicious as possible. Here are some tips to help you select the best oxtail for your dish:

Look for Fresh Oxtail

When buying oxtail, it’s important to choose fresh meat. Look for oxtail that has a bright red color and is free of any discoloration or blemishes. If the oxtail has a strong odor or is slimy to the touch, it’s likely not fresh and should be avoided.

Choose Meaty Oxtail

You want to choose oxtail that has plenty of meat on the bone. Look for pieces that are thick and meaty, with a good amount of fat and connective tissue. This will help ensure that your oxtail is flavorful and tender.

Consider the Source

The quality of the oxtail can also depend on the source. Look for oxtail from a reputable butcher or meat market, or choose grass-fed beef if possible. This will help ensure that your oxtail is of the highest quality and free from any added hormones or antibiotics.

Buy the Right Quantity

When buying oxtail, keep in mind that it can be quite expensive. Plan on buying about 2-3 pounds of oxtail per person if serving it as a main dish. If using it as a flavoring agent or in a soup or stew, you can get away with using less.

By following these tips, you can choose the right oxtail for your recipe and ensure that your dish turns out delicious every time.

Preparation Before Cooking

Before cooking oxtails, there are a few important steps to follow to ensure the best results. Here are some tips on how to prepare your oxtails before cooking:

Cleaning and Trimming

First, rinse the oxtails under cold water to remove any debris or dirt. Then, trim off any excess fat or gristle, and cut off the bone at the joint. This will make the oxtails easier to handle and cook evenly.


To add flavor to your oxtails, season them with a mixture of salt, black pepper, allspice, cloves, thyme, and bay leaves. You can also add ginger, green onions, and parsley to the mix for additional flavor.


Adding vegetables to your oxtail recipe can enhance the flavor and nutrition of the dish. Common vegetables used in oxtail recipes include garlic, onion, carrot, and celery. These vegetables can be chopped and added to the recipe as desired.

Cooking Oil

When cooking oxtails, it is important to use a high-quality cooking oil that can withstand high heat. Olive oil is a good choice as it has a high smoke point and adds a rich flavor to the dish.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your oxtail recipe turns out delicious and flavorful.

Marinating the Oxtail

Marinating the oxtail is an important step in preparing a flavorful dish. It helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with delicious flavors. Here are some tips to marinate your oxtail like a pro:

  • Start by mixing the marinade ingredients in a bowl. You can use a variety of ingredients to create a unique flavor profile for your oxtail. Soy sauce is a great base for the marinade, as it adds saltiness and depth of flavor. You can also add scotch bonnet pepper or habanero for a spicy kick.
  • Make sure to coat the oxtail thoroughly with the marinade. You can use a brush or your hands to massage the marinade into the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
  • When you’re ready to cook the oxtail, remove it from the marinade and discard any excess liquid. You can also reserve some of the marinade to use as a basting sauce while cooking.
  • If you’re using a slow cooker or pressure cooker, you can add the oxtail and any remaining marinade to the pot and cook on low heat for several hours until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.
  • For a more traditional preparation, you can brown the oxtail in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot before adding the marinade and other ingredients. This will add depth of flavor and help to develop a rich, caramelized crust on the meat.

Overall, marinating your oxtail is an easy and effective way to elevate the flavor of this delicious cut of meat. With a few simple ingredients and some patience, you can create a mouthwatering dish that will impress your family and friends.

Cooking Techniques

When it comes to cooking oxtail, there are several techniques you can use to achieve tender, flavorful meat. Below are some common methods:


Braising is a popular method for cooking oxtail, as it allows the meat to cook low and slow in a flavorful liquid. To braise oxtail, first sear the meat on all sides to develop a brown crust. Then, add aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery to the pot along with your liquid of choice, such as beef broth or red wine. Simmer the oxtail in the liquid for several hours until it is tender and falls off the bone.

Sautéing and Browning

Sautéing and browning oxtail before braising or stewing can add extra flavor and texture to your dish. To sauté oxtail, heat oil in a pan and cook the meat on high heat until browned on all sides. This can also be done in a Dutch oven or slow cooker before adding the liquid for braising.


Cooking oxtail in the oven is another option, particularly if you want to achieve a crispy exterior. To do this, first sear the meat on all sides in a pan. Then, transfer the oxtail to a baking dish and roast in the oven at a high temperature, basting occasionally with a flavorful liquid, until the meat is cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker

Using a slow cooker or pressure cooker can be a convenient way to cook oxtail, as it requires less hands-on time. For a slow cooker, simply add all ingredients to the pot and cook on low heat for several hours until the meat is tender. For a pressure cooker, you can cook oxtail in a fraction of the time by using high pressure and a shorter cook time.

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a popular electric pressure cooker that can also be used to cook oxtail. Simply add all ingredients to the pot, select the appropriate cooking setting, and let the Instant Pot do the work for you. This method can also be used to cook frozen oxtail without the need for thawing beforehand.

No matter what cooking technique you choose, oxtail can be a delicious and flavorful addition to any meal.

Oxtail Stew Recipe

If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful stew that will warm you up on a chilly evening, oxtail stew is the perfect choice. This dish is rich and tender, with a delicious flavor that comes from the combination of oxtail, potatoes, carrots, and a variety of other ingredients.

To make oxtail stew, you’ll need to start by browning the oxtail in a large pot. Once the oxtail is browned, you can add in your vegetables, such as chopped carrots and celery, and sauté them until they’re soft and fragrant. Then, you’ll add in your liquid, which can be a combination of chicken or beef broth, red wine, and/or stock.

One of the keys to making a great oxtail stew is to braise the oxtail for a long time. This will help to break down the tough meat and make it tender and flavorful. You can braise the stew in the oven or on the stovetop, depending on your preference.

To add even more flavor to your oxtail stew, you can also add in herbs and spices like bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. And if you want to make your stew even heartier, you can add in additional vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, and green beans.

Overall, oxtail stew is a delicious and satisfying dish that is perfect for a cozy night in. With its rich flavor and tender meat, it’s sure to become a favorite in your household.

Caribbean Oxtail Recipe

If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful meal, you can’t go wrong with a Caribbean oxtail recipe. This dish is a staple in the region and is known for its tender meat and rich flavor. Here’s how you can make your own Caribbean oxtail recipe at home.


  • 3-4 pounds oxtail
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the oxtail and brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Remove the oxtail from the pot and set aside. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add the beef broth and oxtail back to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 2-3 hours, or until the oxtail is tender and falling off the bone.
  4. Stir in the butter beans and thyme. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the beans are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve your Caribbean oxtail recipe with rice and peas for a complete meal. The rice and peas are a traditional side dish in the Caribbean and are made with kidney beans, coconut milk, and scotch bonnet pepper for a spicy kick.

Additional Recipes

If you’re looking for more oxtail recipes to try, here are a few additional ideas to get you started:

Braised Oxtails

Braising is a popular cooking method for oxtails, as it helps to break down the tough meat and infuse it with flavor. To braise oxtails, you’ll need to sear them first to create a nice crust, then add liquid and aromatics and let them simmer low and slow for several hours. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

  • Sear oxtails in a hot pan until browned on all sides.
  • Add chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and cook until softened.
  • Add garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and any other herbs or spices you like.
  • Pour in beef broth or red wine and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Smoked Oxtail

If you have a smoker, consider trying smoked oxtail for a unique and flavorful twist. To smoke oxtails, you’ll need to season them with a dry rub or marinade, then smoke them low and slow for several hours until they’re tender and infused with smoky flavor. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

  • Rub oxtails with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Let the meat sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to absorb the flavors.
  • Smoke the oxtails over low heat (around 225°F) for 4-6 hours, adding wood chips as needed to maintain smoke.
  • Once the meat is tender and fully cooked, you can serve it as-is or use it in other recipes.

Jamaican Oxtails

Jamaican-style oxtails are a popular dish that’s often served with rice and peas. To make Jamaican oxtails, you’ll need to marinate the meat in a mixture of spices and seasonings, then braise it with vegetables and coconut milk for a rich and flavorful dish. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

  • Marinate oxtails in a mixture of allspice, thyme, garlic, ginger, and scallions for at least a few hours or overnight.
  • Brown the oxtails in a hot pan, then remove and set aside.
  • Add chopped onions, bell peppers, and carrots to the pan and cook until softened.
  • Add the oxtails back to the pan, along with beef broth, coconut milk, and any additional spices or seasonings you like.
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful.

How to Make Oxtail

If you’re new to cooking oxtail, it can seem intimidating at first. But with a few basic techniques, you can create delicious oxtail dishes at home. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Sear the oxtails first to create a nice crust and seal in the juices.
  • Cook the oxtails low and slow, either by braising, smoking, or slow-cooking in a crockpot.
  • Use plenty of aromatics and seasonings to infuse the meat with flavor.
  • Be patient! Oxtail takes several hours to cook, but the end result is worth it.

Finishing and Garnishing

Once your oxtail stew is done cooking, it’s time to add the finishing touches to make it look and taste even better. Here are some tips for finishing and garnishing your oxtail recipe:


  • Skim off any excess fat from the surface of the stew before serving.
  • Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or other spices to taste.
  • If the stew is too thin, you can thicken it by adding a slurry made from cornstarch and water. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water, then stir it into the stew and let it simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
  • If the stew is too thick, you can thin it out by adding more broth, water, or even beer or wine.


  • Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs over the top of the stew before serving. Parsley, thyme, and rosemary all work well with oxtail.
  • Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the top of the stew to brighten up the flavors.
  • Serve the stew with a side of crusty bread or over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes.
  • For a more colorful presentation, add some diced carrots or bell peppers to the stew before serving.

Remember, the garnishes and finishing touches are optional, so feel free to experiment and find what works best for you and your taste preferences. With these tips, you can take your oxtail stew to the next level and impress your dinner guests.

Nutritional Information

If you are looking for a hearty and flavorful meal, oxtail is a great choice. However, it is important to consider the nutritional value of this meat, especially if you are watching your calorie intake or looking to boost your nutrient intake. Here is a breakdown of the nutritional information for oxtail:

  • Calories: A 100-gram serving of oxtail contains 262 calories. Of these calories, 130 of them are from fat. Because oxtail is most often served as part of a larger dish and is most commonly stewed, the number of calories consumed in a dish of oxtail will depend significantly on the other ingredients used.
  • Protein: Oxtail is a good source of protein, with 100 grams of meat containing around 21 grams of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, as well as for maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Nutrition: Oxtail is a good source of several key nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. Vitamin C is important for immune system health and helps the body absorb iron, while calcium is important for bone health. Iron is essential for oxygen transport in the blood, and potassium is important for heart health and muscle function.
  • Sugars: Oxtail does not contain any significant amounts of sugars, making it a good choice for those looking to limit their sugar intake.

Overall, oxtail can be a nutritious and satisfying addition to your diet. However, it is important to keep portion sizes in mind and to balance your intake of oxtail with other healthy foods to ensure that you are getting a well-rounded diet.

Storing and Reheating

After you’ve made your delicious oxtail recipe, you may have some leftovers that you’d like to store for later. Here are some tips for storing and reheating your oxtail:


  • Store your oxtail in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Make sure to use the leftovers within 5 days.
  • If you have a lot of leftovers, you can also freeze them for up to 3 months.


  • To keep the meat tender, avoid using the microwave and instead reheat in an oven preheated to 300 degrees until warmed through.
  • You can also reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan over low heat.
  • If the oxtail has dried out, add a little bit of beef broth or water to the pan.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your oxtail stays fresh and delicious even after it’s been stored and reheated.

Serving Suggestions

Now that you have cooked your delicious oxtail, it’s time to think about what to serve with it. Here are some serving suggestions that will complement your oxtail dish.


Oxtails already have your protein covered, so a carb-loaded side is a must to complete the meal. Mashed potatoes are a classic pairing that will soak up the rich gravy. Rice is another simple option that will help balance out the flavors. Want something more substantial? Polenta is great if you’re making an oxtail stew. It’s creamy and hearty and will definitely satisfy your appetite. Sweet potatoes are also a great option, especially if you’re looking for something a bit healthier.


A side of vegetables is always a good idea to balance out the richness of the oxtail. Roasted root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and turnips are a great option. You can also try sautéed greens like spinach or kale. A simple salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can also be refreshing.


A slice of crusty bread is perfect for soaking up the delicious gravy. Cheesy garlic skillet rolls are another great option that will add some flavor and texture to your meal.


Pairing wine with oxtail can be tricky because of its bold flavors. A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec will complement the dish nicely. If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay or Viognier can also work well.


For dessert, something light and refreshing is a good choice. A fruit salad or sorbet can help cleanse your palate after the hearty meal. If you’re feeling indulgent, a slice of chocolate cake or cheesecake can also be a great way to end the meal.

Remember, oxtail is a hearty main course that has a very distinct taste. When choosing sides, it’s important to keep in mind the flavors and textures that will complement the oxtail. With the right combination of sides, you can create a truly memorable meal for your family and friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for oxtails to get tender?

Oxtails can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to get tender. The cooking time depends on the size of the oxtails and the cooking method used. The longer you cook them, the more tender they will become.

What is the best way to make oxtail tender fast?

The best way to make oxtail tender fast is to use a pressure cooker. This method can reduce the cooking time to 45-60 minutes. Another way to make them tender faster is to soak them in a marinade overnight before cooking.

Why should oxtail be soaked before cooking?

Soaking oxtail in a marinade before cooking can help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. It also helps to remove any excess blood and impurities from the meat.

What are some tips for cooking oxtail in the oven?

When cooking oxtail in the oven, it is important to cover the dish with foil or a lid to prevent the meat from drying out. It is also important to add enough liquid to the dish to keep the meat moist. Cooking at a low temperature for a longer period of time will help to ensure that the meat is tender and flavorful.

What are some vegetables that go well with oxtail stew?

Carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery are all vegetables that go well with oxtail stew. You can also add other vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms to add more flavor and nutrition to the dish.

What is the traditional Jamaican way to cook oxtail with butter beans?

The traditional Jamaican way to cook oxtail with butter beans is to first brown the oxtail in a pot with onions, garlic, and thyme. Then, add water, coconut milk, and butter beans to the pot and simmer for several hours until the meat is tender. Serve with rice and peas for a delicious and hearty meal.

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