Hearty oxtail stew

Hearty oxtail stew: A taste from home. Image: Msi Muzi Mathebula

Hearty oxtail stew: Deeply flavoured meal with loads of comfort

Looking for an aromatic dish that will make everyone smile around your dinner table? Try our hearty oxtail stew.

Hearty oxtail stew

Hearty oxtail stew: A taste from home. Image: Msi Muzi Mathebula

When cooking for the family, comfort food is usually high on the list of favourites. This hearty oxtail stew is one of those incredibly delicious comfort foods that will hit the spot every time you prepare it.

The key to getting your oxtail soft and succulent is to cook it long enough. This is why the cooking time for this recipe is two hours. The preparation time before the cooking time starts is only 15 minutes. So despite the long cooking time, there is not much for you to do once you pop the oxtail into the oven.

Serve this hearty oxtail stew on a bed of fluffy rice. You may even want to enjoy it with crusty bread to soak up all the delicious sauces. If you opt for a traditional meal, why not prepare some steamed bread? The combination of steamed bread with a flavourful stew is always a winner.

Let us know in the comments of this recipe if you plan to prepare this hearty oxtail stew.

Hearty oxtail stew recipe

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Msi Muzi Mathebula Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • 2.5 kg 2.5 oxtail, chopped into 2 sticks of leeks

  • 2 sticks of celery

  • 4 medium 4 carrots

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 4 4 fresh bay leaves

  • 4 4 cloves

  • 2 heaped tablespoons 2 plain flour

  • 2 2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

  • 275 ml 275 porter or red wine

  • 1 litre 1 organic beef stock or water

  • Worcestershire sauce


  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Place a large roasting tray in the oven to preheat.
  • Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven, then add the oxtail. Season and drizzle over a lug of olive oil, then toss to coat and place in the hot oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and caramelised.
  • Meanwhile, trim and halve the leeks and celery lengthways, then chop into rough 2cm chunks. Peel and chop the carrots into 2cm pieces, then place them into a large ovenproof casserole pan over medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Pick, roughly chop and add the thyme and rosemary leaves, then add the bay and cook for around 20 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring frequently.
  • Meanwhile, remove the oxtail from the oven and set it aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC.
  • Add the cloves and flour to the veg, stirring well to combine, then pour in the tomatoes and porter (or wine, if using). Add the oxtail and any roasting juices, cover with the beef stock or 1 litre of cold water and stir well.
  • Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, then pop the lid on and place in the hot oven for around 5 hours, or until the meat falls away from the bone, stirring every hour or so and adding a splash of water to loosen if needed.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Using rubber gloves, strip the meat from the bones and return to the pan, discarding the bones.
  • Add a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, season to taste and enjoy with creamy mash and seasonal steamed greens.


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