Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(39 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins


Serves 6
Slow-cooked oxtail is soft, melting meat and teamed with this rich red wine sauce it's perfect for parties

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal812
  • fat41g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein53g
  • salt2.08g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 oxtail, jointed and cut into pieces
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 2 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 carrot, cut into small chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, cut into small chunks



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • bay leaves and thyme sprigs, tied together
  • 1 bottle full-bodied red wine

For the dumplings

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • bunch basil leaves, removed



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 75g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 egg white
  • olive oil, for drizzling
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Season the flour with salt and pepper, then toss the oxtail in it until evenly coated. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Working in batches, brown the meat really well on all sides. Remove from the pan, then add the veg and garlic and fry for 3-4 mins until starting to colour. Stir in the tomato purée and herbs. Tip the meat back into the pan, pour over the wine, then crumble in the stock cube. Season, cover the pan and braise in the oven for 3 hrs until the meat is meltingly tender. Can be cooked up to 2 days ahead. If you make it ahead, chill in the fridge and lift any fat off the top before reheating.

  2. To make the dumplings, tip the flour and basil (reserving a few leaves for a garnish) into a food processor with a generous pinch of salt, then blitz until the basil is finely chopped. Add the butter and blitz until it’s the texture of breadcrumbs, then gradually add the egg whites until everything comes together. On a floured surface, roll the dumplings into small, walnut-size balls, then cover with a tea towel until ready to cook.

  3. To serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Simmer dumplings for 15 mins, then remove with a slotted spoon. While the dumplings are cooking, gently reheat the meat in the sauce. Serve a few chunks of meat in a soup bowl with a few dumplings, drizzled with olive oil and scattered with a few basil leaves.

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.

Comments (56)

helroy's picture

Cooked this in my pressure cooker for 1 hour and the meat was falling off the bone.
Liquidised the veg into a sauce and ate with mash and leeks.
Required only half a bottle of wine and was truly scrumptious.

yukiholland's picture

I've recently had shoulder surgery. My parents have always said that oxtail is great for with one arm in oxtail is now gently bubbling in the oven..its smelling great :) thanks for the recipe

easyfiver's picture

hi my husband as talked about ox tail his mum made so i gave this ago,it went down a treat,i never had befor but will be making this again great recipe

spacegourmet's picture

The oxtail turned out very nicely and tender, and was easy to prepare, but it did get a bit dry. I just about got away with it, and will pay more attention next time. My dumplings came out very dry - they seem easy to make, but it probably takes a bit more practice! My friends were happy enough...

ghisli2000's picture

Yum yum yum yum yum!!! I love this recipe. I have never had oxtail before and I am a convert. It was beautiful, the meat was so tender it fell off the bone.

diddidots's picture

Fantastic! Finally got oxtail at Smithfields Market, London. They were huge! Took 5 hours to cook but remembered my Gran cooking them and saying just keep cooking till they fall off the bone. I did and my whole family loved them. Have been ordered to do this again and also make some soup. Family does not like dumplings so made yorkshire puddings. Did my family of 4 three meals. The meat also makes a lovely meat and veg pie. Cos took longer too cook ended up using another bottle of wine but it was certainly worth it. Back to Smithfields Monday to buy some more. They were only £8 for 2 huge and I mean huge oxtails! Superb!

diddidots's picture

Fantastic! Finally got some oxtails from Smithfield Market, London. They were HUGE1

happybelly's picture

Great recipe! So easy to make. I added extra tomato paste and extra garlic cloves. Very tasty dish. Will be making it again for friends next week. Thanks!

susanballcole's picture

Well, i also did only half the recipe and cooked it for 4 hours. My husband said it was delicious, there was lots of thick rich gravey and the meat that fell off the bone. I am about to cook it again for our Sunday dinner.

emmjay's picture

To andycrofts: I am the Aussie "bloke" you refer to. Please don't refer to me as a bloke again! I am female, (and a very feminine one at that!) not male, and it's bad enough to be called "mate", but bloke is really below the belt. Definitely not what the Australian woman likes to be called!

cook284's picture

This stew recipe is excellent, really flavourful and hearty. However, I messed up the dumplings, I'm sure it was my own mistake as most other people seem to have successfully made them. I added a bit of water during the mixing process as the 3 eggs I used didn't seem to pull the mixture together. After simmering for 15mins, the dumpling were really heavy and didn't have much flavour. Will certainly make the stew again and my dad has insisted on having the recipe!

andycrofts's picture

This is simply made for a slow-cooker.
If you get it a bit wrong in a crockpot, it won't matter!
As to the Ozzie bloke worrying about the wine quantity, 2 litres of red does it.
I'd suggest following the late Keith Floyd. One for the food, one for the chef.
One for thfood, one for the cheff, om fo' the chef, nother for the chef. wassa probblemm? (Hic!)

(repeat, wash and rinse).

After all, it simmers in a crockpot, it takes awhile! Time to shober up!

youngalexf's picture

Have made this a few times and it always goes down a storm. I'm now the owner of a slowcooker so, following barbara's post i'm going to try the oxtail in there!

angelafield's picture

Had this for dinner tonight and it was divine! I made it in my slow cooker and as I was eating it, I was actually sad that this was the first time in all my 28 years that I have eaten oxtail.

What have I been doing all my life? Part of me wanted to dash out and buy more oxtail straight away.

I just wondered, can I use the leftover stock in the same way you would use beef stock? Oh and can the fat be used to cook roast potatoes etc in?

I urge you to cook this dish, especially if you have never had oxtail before. The best meal I have had in a very long time!

Thank you Barney!

carroll34's picture

Tried this at New Year's last year as something different. It was a show stopper - different and absolutely delicious, rich in taste and the meat very succulent and tender.

monkeychops's picture

To save on time & energy after browning the meat I put the whole lot with the stock in a pressure cooker, bring it to pressure & cook it for half an hour. After that the meat is tender & you can reduce the stock to however you want it. Delicious.

martjane's picture

i have just bought 2KG of oxtail, but i have no idea what this means in terms of tails, can anyone help?????? i really wouyld like to cook this soon as it's forcast snow this weekend

mouserbn2's picture

I cooked this for two people so I have loads of lovely sauce left over which I will serve with a steak and some sauteed mushrooms.

I would recommend trying the dumplings. They are exceptionally light and the aromatic basil contrasts well with the rich sauce.

heatherelmer's picture

Living in Kosovo temporarily so had fun asking the butcher for oxtail, a few demonstations and i got 4 slices for my husband and i .... following everyone's comments i reduced the amount of meat but kept the liquid the same and it was absolutely gorgeous.... my husband said it was the best red wine sauce he'd ever had and i even licked the bowl clean when he wasn't looking... will definitely be doing again.

kellymicklewright's picture

I was a bit disappointed - the sauce was lovely and rich but the oxtail tasted really bland. I'd expected it to be quite strong tasting (I've eaten it out but never cooked with it before). Did I do something wrong?


Questions (1)

Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved…

Be the first to ask a question about this recipe…

Tips (1)

Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.

Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe…