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My husband has always been enthusiastic about oxtail, buying it whenever he finds it. He first introduced me to this curious cut of beef, and has always been the one in our family to cook it, however, I decided to attempt my first ever Oxtail Stew for a romantic dinner at home one quiet Friday night.

My plan was to simmer the stew gently on the stovetop, and let the alluring aroma fill the house as we put the kids to bed, then readied ourselves for our date-night-at-home. Rather, a friend came over for a quick glass of wine and catch up after we had picked up our kids from their respective schools – and our brief gathering transformed into hours with husbands eventually joining us as well. I ended up sliding the stew to the back burner for another night, and we ordered in pizza, a more family friendly dinner.


oxtail stew

3 tablespoons canola oil

4 pounds oxtail

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cups dry red wine

6 cups chicken stock

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

6 carrots, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup flour

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Heat oil in an 8-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Season oxtail with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook, turning as needed until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer oxtail to a plate, set aside. Add garlic and onion to pan, cook, stirring occasionally until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine, cook, stirring and scraping browned bits from bottom of pan until reduced by a third, 3 to 4 minutes. Return oxtail to pan and add stock, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook, covered until oxtail is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Uncover and return to a simmer. Add carrots, cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Mix flour and butter in a bowl until smooth, stir into stew and cook until slightly thick, 8 to 10 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Saveur, Number 162