Oxtails with Gravy

When I’m craving red meat, I turn to this recipe. I watched my God mother make this meal many times and adjusted it to include other ingredients to bring it to the “next level.” It can be served with dumplings or spinners, simple dough dropped into the gravy and cooked simply by the heat of the liquid, served with broad beans or large lima beans, corn bread, rice, or cabbage.


5-6 lbs oxtails, fat trimmed

4 habanero peppers sliced

1 bunch culandro minced

1 red bell pepper sliced

2 yellow onion cut in half and sliced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (optional)

3 Tablespoons minced garlic

5 carrots peeled and sliced thinly using plantain slicer

2 cups dry  red wine (don’t buy “cooking wine”, instead purchase an inexpensive dry wine that tastes good and cook with it)

2 cups water

4 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons beef bouillon

1 Tablespoon ginger powder

3 Tablespoons seasoned salt or salt-free “seasoned salt”

3 Tablespoons White sugar

3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil


After trimming oxtails, place in large bowl. Add yellow onions, bell pepper, garlic, habanero peppers, culandro, seasoned salt, and ginger powder. Rub meat with all ingredients. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

When ready to cook oxtails, you have two options: low and slow atop stove alone OR pressure cooker for 25 minutes, then low and slow atop stove. The directions listed here are for low and slow atop the stove. When using the pressure cooker simply cook oxtails in pressure cooker (without onions and peppers) for 25 minutes following the cooker’s instructions, then follow my directions as follows.

After oxtails have marinated, remove from refrigerator.

On stove top add oil to heavy pot. Heat oil to medium high heat. Add sugar. Allow sugar to “burn” a brown color, stirring to keep from sticking to pan.

Add oxtails to pot to braise. Turn over after cooking 5-7 minutes. Oxtails should now be a pretty brown color.

Next add vegetables to pot with oxtails along with red wine. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Stir, by scraping bottom of pot to release fat deposited on bottom of pot. Add water, bay leaves,bouillon, and remaining dry seasoning. Bring to a boil. You may sprinkle one Tablespoon of flour atop mixture at this time.

Turn pot down to lowest setting and cook covered until oxtails are tender. When cooking on the stove top this may take 4-6 hours depending upon size of oxtails and amount of space in pot. Using a pressure cooker will cut this time in half.

About 30 minutes before serving add carrots. You don’t want the carrots to get too mushy.

If liquid/gravy is not thick enough, in separate bowl mix 1 cup cold water with 2 Tablespoons of corn starch. Slowly stir into pot with oxtails.

Serve with rice, cabbage, and cornbread or dumplings.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving 197.1

Total fat 4.1 grams

   Saturated fat 1.5 grams

Cholesterol 28.5 mg

Sodium 115.5 mg

Potassium 422.7 mg

Total Carbs 17.1 grams

    Dietary Fiber 3 grams

    Sugar 7.3 grams

Protein 9.9 grams

Vitamin A 154.1%

Vitamin C 14.8 %

Calcium 4.6%

Iron 3.9 %