Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew, onions, parsnips, and carrots simmered in red wine and stock create a rich, delicious, and warming stew.

Oxtail Stew

Have you ever eaten oxtails?

Most people I know have never heard of them, which is really a pity.

What Are Oxtail Stew?

Imagine braised beef short ribs with even more taste, and you’ll understand why those of us who eat oxtail become dreamy-eyed when we think about them.

Yes, oxtails are derived from the tail of a steer, which is a well-exercised muscle rich in fat. The segments are vertebrae, hence they contain a lot of iron-rich marrow.

Oxtail Stew

My father, who grew up during the Depression, remembers oxtails as a low-cost food option. You could obtain them for cents per pound.

They’re now difficult to get and no longer affordable (though Costco and Asian stores occasionally provide decent deals).

Low and slow is best

Oxtails, like other difficult cuts, benefit from many hours of slow cooking. They are fatty, so we like to prepare them the day before and chill them overnight before scraping off the fat from the top the next day.

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Recipe Card

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew, onions, parsnips, and carrots simmered in red wine and stock create a rich, delicious, and warming stew.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 3 pounds 1.3 kg oxtails with separated joints
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for roasting the vegetables
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 3 whole cloves garlic peel still on
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch thyme
  • 2 475 ml cups stock (chicken or beef)
  • 2 cups 475 ml red wine
  • 2 carrots cut into 1-inch segments, large pieces also cut lengthwise
  • 2 parsnips cut into 1-inch segments, large pieces also cut lengthwise
  • 2 turnips or rutabagas cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Parsley


  • Dry the oxtails with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium to high heat.
  • Working in batches and avoiding crowding the pan, fry the oxtails on both sides in a heated pan until golden brown. Use tongs to transfer the oxtails to a platter and set aside.
  • Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the onions become transparent.
  • Place the oxtails back in the pan. Combine the entire garlic cloves, stock, and wine. Combine bay leaf, thyme, and half a teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and simmer for 3 hours, until the meat is fork tender.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175° Celsius).
  • Preheat the oven for roasting the root vegetables about an hour before the meat is done.
  • Toss carrots, parsnips, and turnips in olive oil in a roasting pan. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the veggies for an hour, or until gently browned and cooked through.
  • When the oxtails are tender, remove them from the cooking liquid. Either skim the fat off the top using a spoon, use a fat separator to remove the fat, or refrigerate the cooking liquid for several hours until the fat solidifies and is simpler to remove.
  • If you’re cooking ahead, simply place the stew in the refrigerator (let it get to room temperature first), with the oxtails still in it, and chill overnight. The next day, scrape out the fat, reheat, and remove the meat from the casserole.
  • Pour the cooking liquid into a dish through a mesh strainer, pressing down with a rubber spatula to remove any vegetable particles that have accumulated.
  • Discard the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and cook until reduced by half.
  • Then, put the oxtails back into the pan, followed by the roasted veggies. Heat on low for half an hour to let the flavors to blend.
  • Before serving, garnish with little chopped parsley.
Keyword Oxtail Stew

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