Basque Oxtails (Behi Buztanak Anda Goriren Zaltzan) Recipe

Fresh Oxtail
Claudia Totir / Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Pounds Oxtails (8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
178 Calories
5g Fat
21g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 Pounds Oxtails (8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 178
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 88301mg 3,839%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 4g
Calcium 144mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Oxtails are slowly braised with onion, celery, carrots, garlic, wine, and herbs for a hearty meal. 

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines by Jeff Smith (Wm Morrow).


  • 4 pounds oxtails, rubbed with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups homemade beef stock or use canned
  • 1-1/2 cups red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, whole
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Using a large black frying pan, brown the seasoned oxtails in the olive oil. You will need to do this in about 3 batches.

  2. Remove the oxtails to a 6- to 8-quart heavy stove-top pot.

  3. Leave the oil in the frying pan and saute the celery, onion, carrots, garlic, shallots, and parsley.

  4. When the onions are clear, add the flour and stir in well.

  5. Saute a few minutes longer and add the beef stock, bay leaves, and thyme, along with the oxtails.

  6. Simmer partially covered for 2 hours, or until tender. Stir occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste as the dish finishes.​

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