Oxtail Stew

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Prepartion Time
Total Time

When it was announced that the theme forNovember's Irish Foodie Cookalong was to be Winter Warmers, this was the first dish to spring to mind. It's rich, unctuous and full of flavour, perfect for a cold winter's day.

I was first introduced to this dish by my dad who had received the recipe from a business acquaintance. I was a little unsure of it at first due to the fact that it really is made from a cow's tail, which is understandably a little off putting. However, the first taste of the stew changed my mind, it was gorgeous!

The best this about this dish is that once you've done the prep work, you just pop the pot into the oven or on a low heated hob and leave it cook. I wouldn't recommend it for those of squeamish disposition though as the spine bones might freak them out a little!

Oxtails (Your local craft butcher should stock them)
Baby Turnips
Pearl Onions
Bacon Lardons
Chicken Stock
Pale Ale (I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)
Bouquet Garni
Garlic (divided 2 and 2)
4 cloves
Oil or Butter
for frying
Salt & Pepper
to season
Other Requirements

A large pot, a chopping board, a sharp knife, a bowl or other dish to hold the browned meat in and a frying pan.

As with all stews the first thing to do here is to prepare your vegetables. Peel and dice the carrots and baby turnips.

The pearl onions are a little more difficult than normal onions to peel but persevere as they are delicious. If you can't get pearl onions substitute in 3 diced shallots. Roughly chop 2 of the cloves of garlic. Put all your veg to one side in easy reaching distance.

Put a little oil into the bottom of your stew pot and when hot, add in the bacon lardons. Cook until golden brown then remove to bowl or dish that you have standing by.

Now add all the vegetables into the pot and allow to cook and soften for 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and put to one side with the bacon.

Finally place the pieces of oxtail into the pot and brown all over. You'll probably have to do this in batches. Once all the pieces are brown, leave to one side with vegetables and bacon.

With a high heat under the pot, add in the chicken stock and deglaze the pan by using the hot liquid and a spatula or wooden spoon to unstick and dissolve the delicious bits at the bottom of the pot.

Add the pale ale to the pot and add the meat back in, being careful not to splash too much. Finally put the vegetables and bacon lardons back into the pot.

Add in your bouquet garni, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to the boil.

Put the pot into the oven or put on a low heat on the hob for 3 hours. If you are leaving it on a gas hob to cook, I would advise that you use a diffuser to prevent burning at the bottom of the pot as well as the occasional stir.

While the stew is cooking, chop up the mushrooms and crush the remaining 2 cloves of garlic.

Heat a little butter in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and the garlic.

Cook the mushrooms until golden brown. After the stew has cooked for 3 hours, add the mushrooms and cook for a further 15 - 20 mins.

Serve the finished stew with creamy mashed potato or hunks of crusty bread.


French Gourmet Food

Re: Oxtail Stew

That looks amazainf Joanna!

I love the way you took a step by step catalogue of photos, leaving no room for error. I'd love to try it!


Re: Oxtail Stew

If you do give it a try, please let me know how you get on! It is absolutely my favourite stew as it has such a rich flavour.

Banana Pie

Re: Oxtail Stew

I will definitely try it. Our family love stew. Is it ok to cook it with a pressure cooker instead of putting it in the oven for 3 hours?

Travel Food Phil

Re: Oxtail Stew

This stew looks delicious. Good choice on the ox tail, really gives a beautiful and rich flavour and it looks awesome!


Re: Oxtail Stew

Hi Banana Pie,

Just seeing your comment now sorry! I'm afraid I don't know as I don't cook with a pressure cooker at all myself, not owning one.

Oxtail is quite tough if it's not cooked for long enough, but it might cook quicker in the pressure cooker. If you try it will you come back and let me know how you got on and how long it took? I'd be really interested to know.



Re: Oxtail Stew

Hey Phil,

I love the look of oxtail, but I know some people are a little creeped out by easily identifiable bones and so on. Personally I love sucking the last of the meat off the bones. It is so tasty!

Paul Kiernan

Re: Oxtail Stew

Wow! Great recipe and doesn't look too difficult at all - I guess that's stew!

I just browned my oxtails and simmered them in a Thai green curry for two hours.

Had then with a German silvaner wine and it was a really good, if slightly unorthodox, meal.


Re: Oxtail Stew

I love stews precisely because they are so simple. Especially in the winter when I may not feel like spending ages cooking. Brown off the meat add veg and liquid, leave to own devices for a couple of hours, eat!

I bet oxtail would be really nice in a Thai green curry, the richness of the meat would work well with the flavours of the sauce. Sounds lovely.

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