Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

Braised oxtail with basil dumplings

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(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
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  • 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 onions, chopped



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

  • 3 carrots, 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 cloves, 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 whites
  • 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Mar, 2013
Very nice, the gravy was lovely and rich. I was a bit shocked that the recipe asked for a full bottle of wine, but understood why when I tasted it. My husband didn't eat very much of it, I think he may have been put off with it being oxtail, it was Donald Russell oxtail so really lovely quality. I also made the dumplings with suet as I usually do they were nice and fluffy. Will I make it again??? Probably not but I will try the full bottle of wine in a rather nice stew I make. If its any good I will post the recipe.
19th Feb, 2013
How long in a slow cooker please and on low, med or high
17th Feb, 2013
Gosh! What an amazing meal. I bought some waitrose mash as a back up as well as making the dumplings because I wasn't sure and I'm glad that I did. The dumplings came out really lovely and fluffy but the mash just complemented the sauce and the oxtail so well. Cannot extol the virtues of this dish enough! Just heavenly. I halved the portion of meat but I am gutted now because its all finished! :(( simple, humble, delicious :))))
5th Feb, 2013
Can someone give me a guide for the weight of oxtail used in this recipe? Many thanks, Adam.
21st Dec, 2012
This was absolutely fantastic! Made it on a cold Canadian winter's evening and it went down a treat! Warms the old cockles for sure! Didn't do the dumplings, but will next time.
12th Dec, 2012
Very good. I used half quantities and it worked fine. Kept an eye on it and added a wee bit water at one point. Dumplings were inconsistent - will try them again, though, and see if I can improve my technique. Certainly nothing wring with the recipe. Thanks very much!
18th Sep, 2012
yummy , melt in the mouth
10th Jun, 2012
Well I live in Malaysia and since there is NO winter, tried it anyway..... A wonderful meal and so simple...... Actually easier than actually finding the oxtail..... Hehe
10th Jun, 2012
Well I live in Malaysia and since there is NO winter, tried it anyway..... A wonderful meal and so simple...... Actually easier than actually finding the oxtail..... Hehe
8th May, 2012
Truely divine! Never cooked Oxtail myself before but spied some in the butchers on Friday, made it and left it to mature for 2 days and WOW! Thanks Barney your recipes are fabulous! Dumplings were bliss too!


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