Oxtail Braised in Red Wine

I was tooling around the flogosphere last month when I came across the Braised Oxtail post at Dinner Diary. It looked so good, I knew right then that I had to make some braised oxtail, and soon!

Oxtails Seasoned with Salt and Pepper

Oxtails Seasoned with Salt and Pepper

There are lots of ways to cook oxtail. In Hawaii, we have a version of oxtail soup that comes with a clear broth scented with star anise and ginger. The Malaysian oxtail soup version that Annie is more familiar with comes flavored with spices like coriander, cumin and fennel seed. One day when we were dating I told her we were going to have oxtail soup. She was so excited, only to be let down when I served her the Hawaiian version of oxtail soup instead of the Malaysian version she was expecting.

Getting back to the oxtails at hand, I specifically wanted a recipe that called for red wine because I wanted to use up my bottle of LAN Crianza Rioja. So I surfed over to Food Blog Search, found a few good candidates, and eventually settled on the Oxtail Stew recipe by Elise over at Simply RecipesIt truly is an easy recipe! The only part that isn’t quick is the browning of the oxtails.

Oxtail Braised in Red Wine

adapted from Simply Recipes
3 lbs oxtails with separated joints (my package was only 2 lbs)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup water
2 cups of red wine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 cups chopped vegetables – carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips (I used carrots and celery)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup tomato paste
Seasoning – salt and pepper, a pinch of thyme, one bay leaf

Seasonings for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe

 Seasonings for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe


1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. Rinse oxtails and pat dry. Season oxtails in salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Sear the oxtails until browned on all sides.

Searing Oxtails for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe

Seared Oxtails for Braised Oxtail in Red Wine Recipe

4. Add 1/2 of the chopped onions to the pot and cook them down until translucent.
5. In another pot, heat the stock, water and red wine over medium heat. Add to the dutch oven, then bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours (3 seemed a little too long for me).
6. Add the vegetables, raisins, tomato paste and herbs to the dutch oven after the oxtails have been braising for 2 hours. Cook 1 more hour in the oven, then remove the pot from the oven.

Braised Oxtails in Red Wine

Braised Oxtails in Red Wine

At this point, the house was filled with the wonderful aroma of red wine, oxtails, and veggies. I wanted to dig in right away but I decided to wait, let the pot cool, and then put the braised oxtails into the fridge overnight.  I think it’s best done this way to let the flavors further meld and develop.

The next night, we had it for dinner, served with mashed potatoes. Before heating it up, though, we tried to skim off some of the congealed fat. There wasn’t a lot, but I wanted to make the dish a little healthier!

Oxtails Braised in Red Wine with Mashed Potatoes

Oxtails Braised in Red Wine with Mashed Potatoes

That oxtail was falling-off-the-bone tender, and the sauce was so incredible. The flavors had really come together. I especially liked the sweetness that the tomato paste, onions and carrots brought to the dish. The meat itself still had nice flavor and moistness due to all the intra-muscular fat.

(Annie says: Nate’s dish turned out really well. Better yet, I didn’t have to do the cooking–teehee! But I still want some Malaysian Oxtail Soup! Next time, we’ll cook some Malaysian Oxtail Soup, okay?)

(Nate: yes, dear.)

Aloha, Nate

20 thoughts on “Oxtail Braised in Red Wine”

  1. >That looks really good Nate, you seem to have more of a crust on your beef than we did which looks really appealing.

  2. >Your photos inspired me (and made me hungry).

    I am currently visiting relatives in Texas, but as soon as I get back home, your recipe is on the agenda.

    My favorite butcher in Columbia, Maryland, always has some nice oxtails on hand.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


  3. >Can I come over for dinner? That looks so good. In the dictionary next to home cooked meal should be a picture of your oxtail dish!

  4. >There’s nothing I love better in the winter than a bowl of oxtail stew or soup. I chuckle when people get squeamish about oxtail. I tell them they’re ike shortribs, but even beefier tasting. That usually convinces them to take a bite. After that, there’s no going back.

  5. >I looooove braised oxtail! I have a Filipino neighbor whose father loves braised oxtail but she has never tried it herself. I told her she is missing out.

  6. >I’ve been wanting to do an oxtail dish. Thanks so much, it looks heavenly, I can’t wait to try it myself.

  7. >I’ve never seen oxtail at the regular supermarket. Where do you get it?!
    Pretty risky sounding by name but the ready to eat pics look GREAT!

  8. >@all – thanks for the comments!

    @mimid3vils – I’m sure you’ve eaten some pretty scary looking things. Oxtail is pretty tame (and utterly delicious) in my book!

    @ginger – thanks for the compliments, and the inspiration!

    @gastroanthropologist – I think you’ll have to come back to California…or you could sponsor us on a trip to Andalucia and we could make it for you there!

    @Carolyn – that’s a great idea! I think oxtails are better than short ribs, actually.

    @Joie de Vivre – you could make this dish for her and tell her afterwards what it is 😉

    @smokeydoke – let us know how it turns out for you!

    @susanna – actually, we got it at Costco. I guess you gotta be in a place where there is demand for it. Luckily we live in such a place!

  9. >Yum! I LOVE oxtail! This recipe looks so good. I was surprised to see that it called for raisens…very interesting. I’m going to have to give it a shot!

  10. >And the Philippine version of the soup is called bulalo. I see that there, as here, much excitement ensues upon those magic words: oxtail soup. 😉

    I would love to see posts about the Hawaiian and Malaysian soups!

  11. >oxtails are a wonderful way to make a winter’s night warm. we love them but they must get the time and love they deserve when cooking them. this looks like a tradional recipe but the addition of raisins kicks it up a notch!

  12. I do not have a dutch oven. A good one costs so much. Would you mind offering an alternative way to make your braised oxtail without a dutch oven? Thanks.

    1. Wendy –

      do you have any pot that you can use to braise with in the oven? You can brown the meat in a pan but you need a large enough vessel to hold all the ingredients for the braising step.

  13. I have a tall thick enamel stock pot with metal handles. I guess I can use it. Also, someone gave me an oval enamal pot and the bottom has a pattern. It does not have a smooth flat bottom. I never used it. Don’t know what kind of pot it is. I wonder if I can use it to braise on the stove top. Bought some oxtails for $2.99/lb yesterday. Can’t wait to try your recipe this weekend.

  14. I tried it once in an enamel pot on the stove top. It turned out burnt on the bottom despite the fact that I stirred it often. Either the pot is not right for long simmering or I did not turn the flame low enough. I did not buy a dutch oven. It is just too costly for me. I bought a marked down non-stick andodized aluminum pot at Ross. I cooked it patiently on the stove top and it turned out great. It tastes better after a few days. I enjoy it very much. Thanks again.

  15. p.s. My package is about 2 1/4 lbs. Perhaps it makes a difference because there was not as much ingredients in the mixture so it won’t be as crowded on the stove top. I could be the stove top method makes a difference. Any how, I love how it turned out.

    1. Wendy,

      thanks for your comments! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe.

      I know a porcelain enameled dutch oven can be very expensive, but they are worth it. Sometimes you can find some blemished models for sale at places like Marshall’s or Ross. You might even be able to find good deals on pots at garage or moving sales.

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