Braised Oxtails Recipe

Braised oxtail recipe in a pot with white rice on the side

The Spruce

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
980 Calories
49g Fat
13g Carbs
115g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 980
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 19g 93%
Cholesterol 353mg 118%
Sodium 510mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 115g
Calcium 100mg 8%
*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.)

Contrary to their name, oxtails do not come from oxen. They are actually from the tail of the common cow and are one of the most flavorful beef cuts you can purchase and cook. However, it takes some time to coax the best flavor and texture out of oxtails because the cut can be a little tough.

That's where a nice long braising comes to the rescue, which makes the meat fall-off-the-bone tender. It also happens to create its own rich stock as it cooks, which tastes great when it's all served with rice or mashed potatoes. This braised oxtail recipe appears in "The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book" (Hearst Books), reprinted with permission.

Although oxtail preparations typically stem from sustenance days of eating when no parts of the animal went to waste, lately (and ironically), this cut of meat has gained favor and has become a more expensive item to purchase. You'll find oxtail dishes in Italian, Russian, and British cuisines, as well as Asian, African, Jamaican, and Spanish. Regardless of the cuisine in question, braised oxtail is a rewarding, comforting dish with a deep rich flavor, especially as the weather turns a bit colder.


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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/2 pounds oxtails
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 4 carrots (peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) can tomatoes (diced)
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 275 F.

    Braised oxtail ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. In a nonreactive 5-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat until very hot. Cook oxtails in batches until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer oxtails to a bowl once they've browned.

    Oxtails browned in a Dutch oven with other ingredients nearby in bowls
    The Spruce
  3. Add onion and garlic to drippings in the pan. Cook until onion is tender, about 7 minutes.

    Onion and garlic added to Dutch oven
    The Spruce
  4. Stir in carrots, then tomatoes with their juice.

    Carrots and tomatoes in Dutch oven with chopped onion
    The Spruce
  5. Add broth, ginger, salt, ground red pepper, and allspice. Bring to a boil.

    Broth and seasonings stirred into stock and diced tomatoes

    The Spruce

  6. Stir in oxtails.

    Oxtails in a Dutch oven
    The Spruce
  7. Cover and place in the oven. Bake until meat is tender, about 2 hours.

    Finished dish of oxtails with veggies in a Dutch oven
    The Spruce
  8. With a slotted spoon, transfer oxtails to a warm platter. Skim and discard fat from pot liquid. Pour juice over meat and serve. Enjoy.

    Braised oxtails served with rice on a white plate
    The Spruce


  • Trim off any excess fat and pat the meat dry with paper towels before you sear it. This will help you get a nice brown crust on the meat.
  • Oven braising is best because the meat is cooked with indirect heat. But if you don't have an oven-safe pot, you can braise on the stovetop over low heat. Just check periodically to make sure the liquid is simmering, not boiling.

How to Store Braised Oxtails

While cooling and storing braised oxtail, it's best to leave the meat in the braising liquid so that it doesn't dry out. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for three to four days, and reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until it's hot all the way through.

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