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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28th Jan, 2012
Made this recipe for family friends, the two men were big eaters. I served with mash and the rosemary spiked cabbage recipe and it was totally divine....... The only comment I could possibly make against it was that the gravy was slighty fatty in the slow cooker and I was a bit unsure, but I needn't have worried........ I am trying it on the kids this weekend.
5th Jan, 2012
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.
3rd Nov, 2011
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
1st Nov, 2011
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
30th Oct, 2011
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...
13th Sep, 2011
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.
14th Aug, 2011
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!
14th Aug, 2011
Fantastic! Finally got some oxtails from Smithfield Market, London. They were HUGE1
28th Mar, 2011
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!
20th Mar, 2011
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.


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