First published Jan 2012. Updated Nov 2017.
Oxtail Stew has got to be one of my all time favourites, perfect of course, in cold weather, but I’ve been known to make this in summertime too! I still remember the first time I had it, with my Dad, in Singapore, at a place called Captain’s Cabin, a bar/restaurant popular with Singapore Airlines cabin crew, not that my dad worked for the airlines. I fell in love with it then!
Needless to say, there are many variations of the oxtail stew and many theories as to its origin; French, American, British, Chinese, and so on. One thing’s for sure though, you do find “local” recipes in all these countries and more. Indonesian oxtail soup is called Sup Buntut.
There really is something so satisfying about this dark, rich almost gelatinous stew that has you thinking of grey, cold and wet days spent in front of a roaring fire! And to me, there is no better way to enjoy it then with some fresh crusty bread, to soak up all that delicious flavour!
The ingredient list isn’t too long, and as your oxtails will come all chopped up, it’s just a case of trimming off some excess fat, browning the tails, then letting everything cook away for about 4 hours. And with any slow cooking, the aroma that fills your kitchen up, is something else!
One word, this is no diet food, half the calories in an oxtail comes from the fat on it. I do get rid of some of the fat, but but not all, as it contributes to the final flavour and density of the stew.
A quick note about the vegetables, chop them all up to about the same size, about 2.5 cm (1″) for easier eating.
Cooking Time for Oxtail Stew
Don’t be put off by that long cooking time, only about 25 minutes of that is hands on, the rest is just the stew simmering away on the stove. And if you like, cook your oxtail stew in a slow cooker, it’s the perfect recipe!
Another great thing about Oxtail Stew is, just like curries, it really is better the next day. So complete the recipe, cool down to room temperature and chill in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat on the hob before serving.