This easy braised oxtail is a delicious one-pot meal that’s super easy to make. You’ll love the fall-off-the-bone meat, rich sauce, and tender veggies.
If you love pot roast, braised oxtails will surely win you over. Cook this dish on a lazy Sunday when you have the time for some good, old-fashioned slow cooking. Just wait until those savory smells fill your house…
What are Oxtails?
Oxtail refers to the tail cut on a cow. Long braising of oxtails turns this tough meat into an absolute delicacy. If you are looking to add another protein to your grocery list, oxtail is definitely worth trying out. This cut is high in protein and iron, as well as rich collagen which is pulled out from the bone and released into the broth during braising.
Note: While oxtail can be on the pricier side, it’s worth splurging on for a night you want to make something special.
Preparing Perfectly Tender Braised Oxtail
Making braised oxtail may take some time, but the recipe instructions are pretty hands off and fuss free.
- Preheat the Dutch Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F and chop carrots, onion and potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Brown the Oxtail: In a Dutch oven preheated with olive oil over medium-high heat, brown the oxtail on all sides until golden brown.
- Season the Beef: Season the beef with salt and black pepper.
- Add in the Veggies & Broth: Next, add the vegetables and bay leaves into the pot. Pour in the water and stir to combine with a slotted spoon.
- Braise the Oxtail: Next, cover the Dutch oven with the lid and simmer the oxtail in the oven for at least 2 hours. Ladle the dish into a big bowl and dig in!
Dutch Oven Recommendation: We love our Dutch oven from Staub. It never leaves our counter and has lasted over a decade and running!
3 Tips for Fall Off the Bone Braised Oxtail
If it’s your first time braising oxtail, these three simple tips will help you make a restaurant-worthy dish.
- Brown the oxtail in batches if need be. To get the perfect sear on all sides of each piece of oxtail, brown the pieces in batches to give them enough space. This will do wonders for the texture and flavor of the dish by releasing as much beef flavor into the pan as possible.
- Keep the beef drippings in the pan. After you brown the oxtail, make sure to build on top of the beef drippings. Whatever you do, don’t discard them! They add so much flavor and are a key part of the dish.
- Keep the lid on the Dutch oven the entire time. Keeping the lid on the Dutch oven will ensure the meat cooks through properly and turns fall-off-the-bone tender.
Have beef stock or beef broth on hand? Swap it in for the water to add even more depth of flavor to the dish.
What to Serve Alongside Braised Oxtail
Serve braised oxtail alongside buttery baguette or our no-knead dinner rolls for sopping up all that wonderful sauce. For a nice contrast to the savory meat, pair the dish with some marinated tomatoes or marinated mushrooms. For garnish, top it with parsley or dill.
Storing Leftovers & Make Ahead Tips
Braised oxtail is perfect for meal prepping because it reheats so beautifully and continues to develop its flavors as it marinates in the fridge. Double or triple the recipe and have leftovers throughout the week. To keep the meat fresh, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Reheating Tip: To reheat braised oxtail, pop it back into a pan and warm it through over medium heat. You can also zap it in the microwave for a few minutes.
What does it mean to “braise” oxtails?
Braising oxtails means to cook them low and slow in the oven in some kind of cooking liquid. This can be anything from water, broth, or red wine and it results in an extremely tender, meaty dish.
Why are oxtails ideal for braising?
Oxtails are ideal for braising because they contain a ton of marrow and collagen from the tail bone. When they are cooked for a long period of time, all the flavors get released into the cooking liquid.
How long do you have to braise oxtail?
Good things come to those who wait and these oxtails are of no exception. The sweet spot for braised oxtail is between two and three hours. You could go longer if you like, just make sure to give it a stir every now and again to prevent sticking or burning.
Do you have to trim off the fat before braising oxtails?
No, you do not have to trim off the fat before braising oxtails. In fact, all the fat and collagen makes the broth the meat cooks in super flavorful – whatever you do, don’t take it off!
A Few More Hearty Recipes to Try
- Braised Potatoes with Beef – Slavic-style beef & potatoes
- One Pot Lamb Stew– This luscious lamb stew is made with slowly-stewed lamb shoulder, baby potatoes, carrots, and spices.
- Pressure Cooker Pot Roast – Easy pressure cooker pot roast
- Beef Barley Soup – Hearty beef soup
- Beef Gravy Recipe – Tender beef in rich gravy
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Chop the carrots, onion and potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Set them aside.
- Preheat a Dutch oven with olive oil on medium-high heat. Brown the oxtail on all sides until it's golden brown.
- Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Add the veggies and bay leaves into the pot.
- Add the water and stir to combine.
- Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and bake the oxtail for at least 2 hours (you can bump this up to 3 hours if you have the time). You'll know they're ready when the oxtails fall off the bone easily. Enjoy!