How To Cook Oxtails In The Oven?

How To Cook Oxtails In The Oven
Prep. time:
210 min
6 dishes

Hey there, food adventurers! Today, I’m going to share with you a soul-warming recipe: Oven-Cooked Oxtails.

This dish is steeped in history, with roots in many cultures from Europe to Africa and the Caribbean.

Oxtails, once considered a ‘lesser’ cut of meat, have gained fame for their rich flavor and tender texture after slow cooking. Perfect for a cozy dinner!

Oxtails, as the name suggests, originally referred to the tail of an ox. Nowadays, this term generally refers to the tails of cattle.

They’re a type of meat cut that has gained popularity and appreciation in various cuisines around the world for their rich flavor and unique texture.

Recipe Details:

  • Serves: About 6 people.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes.
  • Cook Time: About 3 hours.
  • Difficulty: Medium.

Here’s a bit more about oxtails:

  • Composition: Oxtails are a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is why they’re often slow-cooked in stews, soups, or braises. The slow cooking process helps break down the collagen in the tails, turning them into melt-in-your-mouth tender meat with a rich, hearty flavor.
  • Culinary Uses: Oxtail is used in a variety of dishes across different cultures. In Caribbean cuisine, it’s a staple ingredient in oxtail stew, often cooked with butter beans and a blend of spices. In Italian cooking, oxtails are used in the classic Roman dish “coda alla vaccinara” (oxtail stew). In Asian cuisines, oxtails are used in soups and broths, valued for their rich texture and flavor.
  • Nutritional Value: Oxtails are rich in protein and minerals like iron. They’re also high in collagen, which is thought to have various health benefits, including supporting joint health and skin elasticity.
  • Preparation: Oxtails require long cooking times due to their dense connective tissue. They are best prepared using slow cooking methods such as braising or stewing. This slow process ensures the meat becomes tender and the flavors intensify.
  • Flavor and Texture: After cooking, oxtails offer a unique combination of tender meat and gelatinous texture. The flavor is deep, meaty, and robust, making them a favorite for hearty, flavorful dishes.

As said above, in recent years, oxtails have seen a resurgence in popularity, moving from being considered a ‘lesser’ cut of meat to a gourmet ingredient in many high-end restaurants, celebrated for their depth of flavor and luxurious texture


  • · 2 kg oxtails, cut into segments
  • · 2 tbsp olive oil
  • · 2 large onions, chopped
  • · 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • · 3 large carrots, chopped
  • · 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • · 1 cup red wine (a hearty one like Cabernet)
  • · 3 cups beef broth
  • · 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • · 2 bay leaves
  • · A few sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • · Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prep the Oxtails: Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F). Season the oxtails with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof pot, heat the olive oil and brown the oxtails on all sides. This might take about 10-15 minutes. Then, set them aside.
  2. Veggies Time: In the same pot, add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook until they start to soften.
  3. Deglaze: Pour in the red wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Let it simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly.
  4. Simmering Magic: Add the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir well, then return the oxtails to the pot. The liquid should almost cover the meat.
  5. Oven Time: Cover the pot with a lid or tightly with foil and place it in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and almost falling off the bone.
  6. Final Touches: Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. You can skim off excess fat from the surface.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Protein-Rich: Oxtails are a great source of protein.
  • Minerals: High in iron and other essential minerals.
  • Collagen: Known for its high collagen content, great for joint health.

Dietary Alternatives:

  • Alcohol-Free Version: Replace the red wine with additional beef broth or a non-alcoholic red wine.

Cooking Tips:

  • Browning is Key: Don’t rush the browning of the oxtails. It’s crucial for flavor.
  • Low and Slow: The key to tender oxtails is cooking them at a low temperature for a long time.
  • Serve Over: Serve over mashed potatoes, polenta, or rice to soak up that delicious sauce.
  • Make Ahead: This dish tastes even better the next day as the flavors meld together.

There you have it, a heartwarming dish that’s perfect for when you need a little culinary hug. The rich, meaty flavors of the oxtails combined with the hearty veggies make for a meal that’s both satisfying and comforting. Enjoy the process and the delicious results!

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