Southern style oxtail recipe

Southern Style Oxtail

Southern style oxtail recipes are a cherished tradition in many households, offering a rich and hearty meal that’s packed with flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, mastering the art of cooking oxtail the Southern way will surely impress your family and friends. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about preparing this delectable dish, from selecting the best ingredients to mastering cooking techniques.

Understanding Oxtail: A Culinary Delight

Before diving into the cooking process, let’s first understand what oxtail is and why it’s such a beloved ingredient in Southern cuisine.

What is Oxtail?

Oxtail refers to the tail of cattle, typically from beef cattle. Despite its name, it doesn’t necessarily come from oxen but rather from cows. The tail is known for its rich flavor and tender meat, making it a favorite in stews and braised dishes.

Why Southern Style?

Southern style oxtail recipes are characterized by their bold flavors, slow cooking methods, and hearty ingredients. This culinary tradition stems from the Deep South, where slow-cooked comfort foods reign supreme.

Selecting the Perfect Ingredients

The key to a delicious Southern style oxtail dish lies in the quality of the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


  • Oxtail: Opt for fresh, high-quality oxtail from your local butcher or meat market.
  • Vegetables: Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic will add depth of flavor to your dish.
  • Herbs and Spices: Bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper are essential for seasoning.
  • Broth: Choose a rich beef broth to enhance the savory taste of the oxtail.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds richness and depth to the sauce.
  • Flour: Used for dredging the oxtail before searing.
  • Oil: Olive oil or vegetable oil for searing the oxtail.

Cooking Instructions

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cooking!

Step 1: Preparing the Oxtail

  1. Trim Excess Fat: Trim any excess fat from the oxtail using a sharp knife.
  2. Season with Salt and Pepper: Season the oxtail generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge in Flour: Dredge the oxtail in flour, shaking off any excess.

Step 2: Searing the Oxtail

  1. Heat Oil: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Sear Oxtail: Sear the oxtail in batches until golden brown on all sides. This helps to lock in the flavor.

Step 3: Building Flavor

  1. Saute Aromatics: Add chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot. Cook until softened and fragrant.
  2. Deglaze Pot: Deglaze the pot with a splash of beef broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients: Return the oxtail to the pot and add bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, and remaining beef broth.

Step 4: Slow Cooking

  1. Simmer: Bring the liquid to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low.
  2. Cook Low and Slow: Allow the oxtail to cook low and slow for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

Step 5: Serving

  1. Skim Fat: Skim any excess fat from the surface of the stew.
  2. Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Serve: Serve the Southern style oxtail hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

Tips and Tricks

  • Patience is Key: Southern style oxtail is all about slow cooking, so be patient and allow the flavors to develop over time.
  • Make Ahead: This dish tastes even better the next day, so consider making it ahead of time and reheating before serving.
  • Variations: Get creative with your seasonings and add-ins. Some cooks like to add a splash of red wine or Worcestershire sauce for extra depth of flavor.


Cooking Southern style oxtail is a labor of love that rewards you with a dish that’s rich, flavorful, and deeply satisfying. By following this guide and putting your own spin on the recipe, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this classic Southern delicacy. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to enjoy a taste of the South like never before

Written by Best Food

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