Soul Food Braised Oxtails Recipe with Carrots, Parsnips and Turnips

Braised oxtail
DebbiSmirnoff / Getty Images
  • 4 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (26)

There’s a reason why oxtails are a soul food staple. Braising oxtails slowly for 3 to 4 hours results in a meaty, fork-tender comfort food. This oxtail recipe will be an eye-opener for those who have never eaten them before. This cut of meat is more succulent and flavorful than even braised beef short ribs, thanks to more marbling and the inclusion of bone marrow.

The delicious aroma will have you counting down until the oxtail recipe is ready. Another option is to cook the oxtails overnight on low in a slow cooker. While the sauce and meat are usually spooned over rice, it can also be served with mashed potatoes.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 to 5 pounds beef oxtails
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (kosher, plus additional to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (plus additional to taste)
  • 2 yellow onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 6 carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 6 parsnips (peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 3 turnips (roughly chopped)
  • Cooked rice (for serving)

How to Make It

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. In a 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy-duty large pot, warm canola oil over high heat until hot but not smoking.

3. Season oxtails with salt and pepper. Using tongs, carefully lower half the oxtails into the oil to brown, cooking about 3 to 4 minutes per side.  When both sides have been browned, transfer to a plate and reserve. Repeat cooking process with remaining oxtails.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Sauté, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for a few minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic and tomato paste, mixing until combined. Season with salt and pepper, and add beef broth and thyme sprigs. Stir, and scrape the pan with the wooden spoon to dislodge any delicious caramelized bits in the pot.

5. Using tongs, lower oxtails back into the pot. Increase the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover tightly with a lid, and transfer the pot to the preheated oven.

6. Cook 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes to make certain the liquid level is maintained. (If the liquid is barely visible at any point during the cooking process, add 1 cup of water.)

7. After 2 hours of cooking, remove the pot from the oven. Add carrots, parsnips, and turnips, and mix with the oxtails. Return to the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 additional hours until oxtails are fork-tender. Check liquid level every 30 minutes.

8.  Remove from oven, and let cool 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon off any fat from the top of the liquid, and discard thyme sprigs. Serve braised oxtails and vegetables over rice with the liquid spooned over it. 

Try These Side Suggestions with the Braised Oxtails: 

Broccoli Salad with Lemon, Garlic and Chili Dressing
Warm Leeks with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Butter-Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese
Roasted Five-Spice Carrots