Ask your butcher to cut up the oxtail for you unless you have a professional cleaver at home (in which case, cut through the natural ridges of the oxtail to make pieces of about 2.5cm / 1 inch). This is lovely served with sweet potatoes on orange juice or just plain mashed potatoes. You could also use osso buco instead of the oxtail. (recipe from the South African section)

Recipe Author:
Tessa Kiros
Falling Cloudberries
Photography by Manos Chatzikonstantis

Illustrations by Michail Touros
Reproduced courtesy of Murdoch Books Ltd.


Category:  Main Course  - 


For 8 people


  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) oxtail, cut into 2.5ch (1 inch) pieces
  • 125 g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 6 tbs. olive oil
  • 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • and pepper
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 parsley stalks

Oxtail Directions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the oxtail and boil for about 15 minutes, skimming away the scum with a slotted spoon. Drain and rinse the oxtail, then pat dry. Put the flour on a flat plate and lightly coat the oxtail on all sides.

    Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the oxtail until golden on all sides. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper as you turn the pieces over. Fry in batches, if necessary, adding extra oil if needed, to ensure the flour does not burn. Put the cooked oxtail in a casserole dish.

    Preheat the oven to 170c (325 F / Gas 3)

    Wipe out the frying pan with kitchen paper and heat the remaining oil and the butter. Add all the vegetables and a little salt and pepper and sauté for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the wine and cook uncovered for a little longer until it has almost all evaporated. Add the vegetables and any cooking juices to the dish.  Then add the sage, bay leaves, parsley, with about 1.25 litres (5 cups) of hot water and a little more salt and pepper. Cover and put in the oven.

    After 1 hour, add up to a liter or so of hot water (depending on how much has been absorbed) and continue cooking for another 2 ½ hours. Add another couple of cupfuls of water and cook for a final 30 – 40 minutes. It is important not to add all the water at the beginning or you will end up with a soup.

  2. You should have a meltingly soft dish: the meat should come away from the bone very easily, and there should be some thickened sauce with the vegetables to serve with the meat.