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Rich tomato braised oxtail

  • 30 minutes
  • 3½ - 4 hours
  • 8
Rich tomato braised oxtail

Oxtail is best cooked a day or two in advance of serving to allow time to refrigerate and for the fat to set on top. This can then be lifted off to ensure a richly-flavoured sauce. I like to pull the meat from the bones and serve the braised oxtail under a blanket of puff pastry.


  • 2 kilograms meaty oxtail, cut into joints and trimmed
  • ½ cup seasoned flour
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup port or red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cider or good balsamic vinegar
  • ¼-½ cup raisins or currants
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt or celery seeds (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 140ºC.
  2. Toss the oxtails in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess and brown the pieces evenly in the oil in a hot fryin gpan - this is best done in batches. Transfer to a casserole.
  3. Brown the carrots and onion in any remaining oil. Add an extra dash of oil if required. Add the stock and wine, tomato paste and vinegar and stir to release all the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Transfer to the casserole and scatter in the currants, garlic, bay leaves, celery salt or seeds, if using and thyme and cover.
  4. Cook in the preheated oven for 3½ hours or until the meat falls from the bones.
  5. If planning to serve immediately, use a flat, large wide spoon to lift the fat from the top of the braise before serving the oxtail with your favourite vegetables. Alternatively lift the bones free, pull the meat from the bones and return to the casserole to serve.

Cooks Tips

- If time permits, chill the cooked braise overnight to allow excess fat to rise to the top and be easily lifted off. Reheat in a 180ºC oven for 1 hour or until hot. - Basic seasoned flour is prepared from plain flour with a seasoning of salt, pepper and dry mustard. A ¼ teaspoon ground cloves in the seasoned flour would go well with oxtail.

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