Oxtails smothered in red wine gravy are infused with onions, peppers, garlic, and much more. Then they are stewed until they are fall off the bone tender. You’ll want to cozy up with this delicious meal this winter, or anytime throughout the year!
In collaboration with Karibe Cookwares 12” Cast Iron Skillet, and black walnut cutting
board, this recipe was able to come alive!
If you’re craving a rich, savory meal on a chilly day, (and have some time to spare) Oxtails Smothered in Red Wine Gravy are perfect! Preparing oxtails isn’t as daunting as it seems and honestly, they are worth the wait.
With just a little patience, and the right cast iron, you will have moist and flavorful oxtails. The great thing is, once you’ve made them, you can add oxtails to your repertoire. They create the type of meal to impress and please the masses!
What are oxtails?
Before we get into the recipe, let me me give you the lowdown on oxtails. Oxtails are the tail of a cow, cut into sections. Because it has a high fat content, oxtails are perfect for braising. Cooking them at a lower heat for an extended period of time creates a rich and savory broth. A broth that can easily transform into gravy, and that can be poured over rice or used in the base of a stew.
Dating back to the 17th century, oxtails were referred to as “peasant food.” Now, they are considered a delicacy! Chefs worldwide create dishes inspired by them. They are very versatile and are most notable in Asian, Caribbean, and French cuisine. They are also the perfect protein for a truly delicious comfort meal.
How to Prepare Oxtails Smothered in Red Wine Gravy
Oxtails require some prep work before cooking them. First, trim most of the fat off with a very sharp knife. Alternatively, you can purchase trimmed oxtails to save time and money.
Then clean the oxtails. Different cleaning methods can be used, but washing them thoroughly with vinegar and water is the preferred method. Be sure to rub the excess debris off of them. After they are thoroughly cleansed, marinate them.
Marinate oxtails for 1-24 hours. Flavor the meat with a blend of olive oil, cilantro, onion, and garlic cloves. Pour the marinade over each oxtail, ensuring they are evenly coated. Then store them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
What sides can I prepare with Oxtails Smothered in Red Wine Gravy?
There are so many side dishes that can round out your oxtail meal. Rice is a preferred side. The starchy rice keeps it simple, and delicious.
It also soaks up all of that gravy goodness! Oxtails are also amazing over mashed potatoes. Grits would elevate this savory dish too. Then, round it out with a nice vegetable to add balance, and create a textural difference.
Which wine pairs best with oxtails?
Adding the red wine to the gravy is optional, but HIGHLY recommended. A dry, full-bodied wine will enhance the flavor. A deep red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot is the full bodied wine that is needed. Alongside the finished dinner you should serve the same wine that you end up using in the recipe.
Oxtails are a labor of love!
Just remember, the goal with this dish is to create the ultimate comfort food! Every single step is crucial to executing an amazing meal. One that will leave an ever lasting impression on yours and your guest’s or family’s taste buds!
Cast iron vs. Pressure cooker:
A lot of people have come to realize that the pressure cooker (aka Insta Pot) is the way to go when cooking oxtails. It cuts out hours of cooking time, and creates a tender and delicious cut of meat!
Using the cast iron skillet, or stock pot, is a generational blessing passed down from our ancestors though! Although it is purely an opinion, the cast iron skillet or stock pot helps create and maintain a very robust and unique flavor. Master this method, then graduate to the pressure cooker!
- 2 lbs Oxtails, about 6-8 oxtails
- 1 cup White Vinegar, to wash oxtails
- 1 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 5 cups Beef broth
- 1 cup Baby carrots, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon Seasoned salt
- ½ tablespoon Onion powder
- ½ tablespoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 can Butter beans
Marinade for Oxtails
- 4 tablespoons Olive oil
- ½ cup Cilantro
- ½ small Onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- Water, as needed to loosen mixture
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 1 whole Green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 whole Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ medium Onion, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tablespoons Flour, enough to absorb oil
- 1 cup Red wine, see notes
- 4 cups Beef broth, use liquid from oxtails first
- 1 tablespoon Browning seasoning, see recommended products
- 2 tablespoon Brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Seasoned salt
- 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon Onion powder
- ½ tablespoon Curry powder
- 2 teaspoon Black pepper
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- Add water as needed if gravy is too thick
- Thoroughly wash the oxtails using white vinegar and water. Rub the excess debris off of them. Rinse well and set aside.
- Add the olive oil, cilantro, onion, and garlic cloves to a blender. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until everything is blended together. Add water one teaspoon at a time to loosen-up the mixture if needed.
- In a large bowl, pour the marinade mixture over the oxtails, and rub it all around the meat using hands or utensils. Ensure they are coated evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or an airtight lid and refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 24 hours.
Stewing the Oxtails
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the oxtails from the refrigerator. Add the seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper to them. Mix well until they are fully coated with the seasonings.
- Preheat a deep cast iron skillet or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon vegetable oil to the pan.
- Place the oxtails in the oil and sear on each side for 3-5 minutes, or until a golden crust is achieved all around.
- Pour the beef broth over the oxtails. Add the baby carrots and cover the skillet or pot with aluminum foil and transfer it to the oven.
- Let the oxtails braise in the oven for 4-5 hours. Check every hour to ensure the liquid is still covering the oxtails; if not, add water until it is just covering them.
- Check to make sure they are fork tender, and remove the skillet or pot from the oven. Prepare the gravy
- In a large cast iron skillet or stock pot, bring 2 tablespoons of vegetable to the smoking point over medium heat. Add the sliced bell pepper and onions and saute until they are semi-soft, about 5 minutes.
- Slowly begin to add the flour, one tablespoon at a time, directly into the pepper mixture. Continue adding the flour until the oil is absorbed by the flour.
- Next, whisk in the red wine and cook for one minute. Now begin to slowly pour in the beef broth. Use any remaining broth from the stewed oxtails, and add more if needed to get to the 4 full cups.
- Continue whisking vigorously to help break up the bits of flour. The mixture should start to thicken now.
- Stir in the tomato paste, and all of the seasonings at this time. If gravy starts to get too thick (to where it is sticking to the spoon or bottom of the pan), add water ¼ cup at a time to help loosen it up.
- Rinse the butter beans and add them to the gravy. Next nestle the oxtails back into the pan with the gravy as well.
- Adjust the seasonings as needed at this time. Enjoy!
Red wine: this can be omitted, but is highly recommended to enhance the flavor. A deep red such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot is recommended.
Use water as a loosening agent for the gravy if needed.
If the liquid in the oxtails gets too low, add more water while they're braising.
Adjust seasonings according to taste- this one is heavily salted due to the cut of meat and the flour base for the gravy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1683Total Fat: 98gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 52gCholesterol: 508mgSodium: 4752mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 157g
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.