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Slow Cooked Oxtail

Slow Cooked Oxtail

Slow-cooked Oxtail

This recipe shows you how to slow-cook oxtail for perfect results. There is nothing quite like the taste of slow-cooked oxtail meat. 

The meat from oxtail is on the bone and is surrounded by lots of fat and sinews. When slow cooked it releases a wonderful taste into the sauce that makes it a real comfort food.

The taste of the oxtail meat is just wonderful as it is cooked on the bone. This is a simple oxtail recipe that you will want to repeat over and over.

oxtail recipe slow cooker
Slow Cooked Oxtail

Where does oxtail come from?

Oxtail is the tail of a cow. It is traditionally, where we live, a fairly cheap cut of meat and your butcher is likely to have some hidden away if it is not on display.

Our butcher had some frozen pieces which he cut with a band saw for me. I let them defrost in the fridge first for a day before I cooked them.

oxtail pieces

The pieces I had were quite fatty. The fat does add a lot of taste to the sauce, but you should skim it off with a spoon before serving up.

If there is too much fat on the pieces you have, you could, of course, remove some fat before cooking. (An alternative is to let everything cool after cooking in the fridge, and the fat will solidify, allowing you to remove it more effectively. You can then just reheat what remains.)

Commonly oxtail is used for making oxtail soup and oxtail stew. This is in effect an oxtail stew recipe, but I served the meat up separately to the juices that remained from cooking the meat.

I did this because I think the taste of the meat is so good it should be enjoyed individually. The gravy went great with the mash.

My oxtail cuts were not that thick, which is great as you need less juice in the pan, but it meant less meat per cut.

A slightly thicker cut would perhaps be better next time. Normally, if not frozen, you would cut the oxtail at the vertebrate joints.

oxtail stew slow cooker


Slow cooked Oxtails in crockpot or Instantpot

I did not have a slow cooker when I made these so I used my trusty Le Creuset casserole dish (Dutch oven) in the oven. But you can also make this meal in a slow cooker, crockpot or Instantpot.

Le Creuset 5 Quart Oval French Oven
braised oxtail recipe
Oxtail served with mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables

Just follow the same directions to brown and fry the meat and vegetables and put it all in the crockpot. You can then cook at a lower temperature for longer if you so wish.

oxtail recipe crock pot

crockpot oxtails

I hope you enjoy this recipe and do not wait too long to try it, as I guarantee you will make it again!

How to slow cook oxtails in the oven

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slow cooked oxtail

Slow cooked Oxtail

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes

This slow cooked oxtail recipe is a delicious way to cook this cheap cut of meat. The rich sauce makes a super tasting gravy - 'stupendous' is a good way to describe.


  • 1 kg oxtail cuts. (I would use 2-3 cuts per person)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 brown onion, sliced
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 450 ml beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 Fresh Thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
  2. Let the oxtails reach room temperature before starting. Lightly cover all sides with salt and pepper. 
  3. Then brown the oxtails on all sides in the vegetable oil in a pan. Do this in batches if need be. When browned then put them aside in the casserole dish.
  4. Prepare the vegetables and then fry the onions in the same pan and add to the meat. Then fry the leek and celery and add to the casserole. Then add the carrots, stock, wine, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves to the casserole.
  5. Make sure that the oxtail pieces are covered by the liquid. If not then add more stock.
  6. Place casserole in the oven for about 2,5 hours. Then check level of liquid in the pan. If need be, top up with water.
  7. Increase heat to 180C and cook for a further hour or until the meat is tender. Remove the oxtails from the pan and cut off any remaining fat before serving up. 
  8. Skim the fat off the top of the cooking liquid with a spoon. Serve it up as a meaty vegetable gravy to go with the dish. If you need to thicken the sauce, you can mix some flour in water and add to the sauce and stir on the heat.


Serve up with buttery mashed potatoes and vegetables of choice.

Here I served up with some simple boiled carrots and beans. There is so much taste in the gravy to complement the simple vegetable side dishes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1014Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 307mgSodium: 736mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 95g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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One of these may be a good accompaniment:
Mashed Potato Recipe - Make the creamiest Mash
Mashed Parsnips
Baked Carrots with Garlic

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may want to try:

Beef in Beer Stew, Slow Cooked
Irish Lamb Stew with Dumplings
Braised steak and onions in slow cooker
Instant Pot Lamb Shanks
Slow Cooked Short Ribs
Pot Roast Leg of Lamb

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Don Bergler

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

Ox tail is terribly expensive in the Pacific Northwest of the US and more so in Vancouver BC. So is beef tongue. The few times we cook them we use a pressure cooker. We could cut down cooking time to about one third without losing its delicious taste.


Tuesday 15th of June 2021

In Ireland, oxtail is still, fortunately, a cheap cut of meat. I did not have my Instantpot when I wrote up this recipe, but I would certainly use it next time to make this, as it would indeed cut the cooking time.

Royston Capel

Sunday 15th of March 2020

The oxtail should be cut at the joint of the vertebraer.h.capel with a sabattier knife, through the gristle, which will give 3.5-4cm pieces without splinters. Supermarkets don't have butchers so they cut lazy with a bandsaw. buy the oxtail whole and Learn to find each joint with the tip of the sabattier. takes a bit of practice but is very satisfying once you've got the knack. Cooking is best at 75-80 degrees for up to ten hours. overnight is a good idea. Leave it to cool, and when cold, 5 mins in the fridge will make the solid fat easy to remove with a slice. The fat is good for roast potatoes/Sunday roast if you don't have any goose fat. sorry about the caps, my computer keyboard has stuck.


Monday 16th of March 2020

Thanks for the tips! These were indeed cut with a bandsaw. I have done them since with fresh oxtail which was better. Now I have an Instant Pot I think I will try in the pressure cooker.

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