Oxtail might not be in your shopping basket every week, but if you have never tried it before it’s worth a go. I love everything about this cut; the flavour is incredible, and the texture is quite unique. A one-pot wonder, it can all be done in about 30 minutes, and cooked in 45 minutes, if you have a pressure cooker. A good butcher will be able to sort you out with the tails and they will also cut them up for you. Eating oxtails dates back as far as the consumption of beef when all the animal was used, and no part went to waste. This is a prime example that the muscles that work the most taste the best. They also make the best soup ever – it was my favourite growing up.


1 Oxtail, cut through the joints (1kg to 1.5kg) 2.3lb to 3.5Ib
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into dice
½ Savoy cabbage, shredded
2 sticks Celery, peeled and chopped into dice
½ head Celeriac, peeled and chopped into 2 dice
2ltr Brown stock
25g Tomato puree
½ bulb Garlic, chopped
175ml Red wine
25g Plain flour
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 sprigs Thyme
100g Baby onions, peeled
1 tin Butter beans
100g Mushrooms, quartered


If you don’t have a pressure cooker pre-heat oven to 150°C/ 300˚F. Prepare the vegetables prepared, the size and shape don’t matter, keep the cabbage separate. Brown the oxtail in a pot or a tray with the oven set to 200°C/400˚F. Remove from the pan and add the carrots, celery, baby onions, mushrooms, and celeriac, soften the vegetables, and add the garlic and cook for two minutes, followed by the tomato puree and the flour. Add the red wine. Cook this out until the wine has all been incorporated into the rest of the vegetables, then add the brown stock and the herbs. Pop the browned oxtails in, pop the lid on the pressure cooker and bring up to pressure. Once it is pressurized reduce the temperature and cook the oxtails for about 50 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker use a large casserole dish in the oven for about 2.5 hours at 150°C/300˚F. Once the meat is falling off the bone remove all the oxtail onto a tray and allow to cook until you can handle it. You will find that the oxtail muscle is made up of little round nuggets of meat that will just pop out leaving the bone and fat behind. Pop all those little nuggets of meat back into the pot. Add the shredded savoy cabbage and the butter beans and bring to the boil. Double check the seasoning, I think a good few turns of cracked black pepper work amazing well with this dish.

Gary Mclean