oxtail stew

Oxtail stew: One of Nelson Mandela’s favourite dishes. Image: Adobe.

Oxtail stew – A dish Nelson Mandela loved to share

Aromatic, rich and luxurious. Each bite of this oxtail stew is a taste sensation.

oxtail stew

Oxtail stew: One of Nelson Mandela’s favourite dishes. Image: Adobe.

A pot of rich oxtail stew bubbling slowly on the stove is a dish few people can resist. Combined with umngqusho, also known as samp and beans, and you have an incredibly delicious meal in the making.  

Nelson Mandela used to love oxtail stew with samp and beans. Whenever his friends and comrades would come and visit him, this is the meal he would like to share with them. One of his friends, Mr Ahmed Kathrada, told me that after tasting my oxtail stew for the first time, he always wished that he would be served oxtail for lunch when he visited Mr Mandela. He would even take some with him on his way back home.

I always ensured to prepare enough food as Mr Mandela was generous and loved sharing his meals with others.

Try this delicious oxtail stew as a palatable winter warmer and witness the delight each bite brings.

Oxtail stew recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Xoliswa Ndoyiya Course: MainCuisine: GlobalDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • 3 kg 3 oxtail (excess fat removed)

  • 2 cups 2 hot water

  • 5 ml 5 paprika

  • 15 ml 15 barbeque spice

  • 5 large 5 carrots (about 350 g) peeled and sliced

  • 250 g 250 green beans, sliced

  • 4 medium 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered or 500 g baby potatoes, cleaned

  • 1 large 1 onion, chopped

  • 60 g 60 oxtail soup powder

  • 3 tablespoons 3 tomato puree

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Put the oxtail in a large pot and add 2 cups of hot water and boil until the water has evaporated. Reduce the heat and let the meat brown in its own fat.
  • Add the paprika and barbeque and add more water. Cook over low heat for about 2 hours until the meat is tender. Keep checking if there is still enough liquid to cover the meat and add more water when necessary.
  • Add the potatoes and cook until soft.
  • Add the carrots, beans and onion.
  • Add ½ cup of water to the oxtail soup powder and make a smooth paste.
  • Then add to the meat and gently stir and cover the pot to simmer until the vegetables are cooked. This should take about 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste and serve.


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Looking for more tasty recipes Xoliswa used to prepare for Nelson Mandela? Just have a look at our recipe page for more of her recipes and much more. We have excellent suggestions for you to try. If you want to read more about Xoliswa Ndoyiya’s experiences as Nelson Mandela’s chef, click here.

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