Braised Oxtail with Black Olives

This oxtail recipe makes a lovely rich, sticky, gelatinous stew.

I like to pair braised meat meals with a hearty red wine, such as a Durif from Rutherglen. Maybe you can find a hearty Durif using this search service.

It is best to prepare this meal over twenty-four hours, but you can do it in less if you pay attention to removing the fat.

Ingredients for Oxtail Stew Recipe

  • 1 kg ox tail
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 half cup of stoned black olives
  • Half bottle red wine
  • Cooking oil
  • Rind of one orange or 2 mandarins
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Chopped parsley


  • Soften the finely chopped onion and carrot in the oil in a heavy based pot or casserole. Meanwhile dredge the oxtail pieces in seasoned flour. Remove the onion/carrot mix from the pot and add the oxtail pieces with a little more oil is necessary.
  • Brown over high heat, turning regularly to avoid burning.
  • Turn down heat, add the wine and the bay leaf and return the reserved vegetables. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any bits of meat that may have stuck to the bottom.
  • Add water to barely cover the meat. Cover and simmer for two or three hours over very low heat or in a slow oven. The meat should be starting to fall off the bones, then you need to remove excess fat from your oxtail stew.
  • One day version: Strain the liquor into a tall jug and allow the fat to rise to the top. Remove the fat and pour the liquor back into the pot.
  • Or, Two day version: Allow casserole to cool and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. The fat will be solid and easy to remove.
  • After you have removed the fat add the olives and the rind and reheat for half an hour. If you have extra liquor left over you can freeze it and use it later in a risotto.
  • Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley with mashed or steamed potatoes and perhaps a green vegetable.


You can add some button mushrooms at the reheating stage, or some parboiled pickling size onions, or maybe some large chunks of carrot.

Your guests will enjoy sucking the bones, which can be a bit messy. Stephanie Alexander in her Cook's Companion suggests supplying hot steamy hand towels as they do in some Chinese restaurants.

Some wine suggestions

This recipe is for a hearty dish and it needs a robust red wine. I suggest a Durif from North East Victoria, but you might also like this with an Argentinian Malbec, or an Aglianico from Italy.

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