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Recipe: Oxtail Ragu

Richly browned oxtail sections are simmered low and slow in a rich tomato sauce until the meat comes off the bones-- this oxtail ragu is almost foolproof. The only way to screw up this incredibly succulent cut of beef is to not cook it long enough.

Oxtail Ragu Ingredients

  • 3? pounds beef oxtail, cut into 2-inch sections

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • cup sherry vinegar

  • 4 cups tomato sauce or puree, or more if desired

  • 2 cups chicken broth, or enough to cover the oxtails

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • teaspoon red chili flakes

How to Make Oxtail Ragu

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Lightly oil a baking pan large enough to hold the oxtails in a single layer.

  2. Place chopped onions and garlic in prepared pan. Rub oxtail sections with olive oil; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange on top of onions. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Turn oxtails and continue roasting until well browned, another 20 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven.

  3. Pour in wine vinegar, tomato sauce, chicken stock or water, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, and red chili flakes to the baking pan; stir. Pour the entire mixture into a large pot. Place over medium-high heat until sauce begins to simmer. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer over low heat until meat easily separates from the bone and is very tender, about 4 to 5 hours. Skim off fat before serving.

Oxtail Ragu Nutritions

  • Calories: 606.8 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 19.2 g

  • Cholesterol: 221.4 mg

  • Fat: 30.8 g

  • Fiber: 4.3 g

  • Protein: 65.1 g

  • SaturatedFat: 11.7 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 3307.4 mg

  • Sugar: 12.1 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Oxtail Ragu Reviews

  • I made this for our Easter Sunday dinner. This was so rich, so delicious... AND SO EASY The only labor I expended was crushing the San Marzanos by hand, and ladling all the fat out of the sauce that pooled to the top. Thats it Time and your dutch oven will do all the work for you.I didnt change the recipe at all, or make any kind of substitutions. It took about 5.5 hours for the meat to fall right off the bones. There were some slightly stubborn pieces of meat with that silvery connective tissue holding the meat to the bone, so I just let those particular pieces simmer in the sauce for another half hour, and they released when the connective tissue dissolved.I was wary of making this and was afraid it would be too greasy (bad experience making short ribs once), but it totally wasnt I didnt have time to refrigerate it to chip the fat off, so I just used a flatter ladle and poured the fat into one of the San Marzano cans. The sauce was silky and rich, the meat was so flavorful, and I cannot wait to have the leftovers tonight for dinner. Thank you, Chef John, for a very special recipe and for guiding me through a cut of meat I never used before

  • This was by far one of my favorite ox tail recipes Thanks Chef

  • Absolutely delicious and flavorful Best tomato sauce Ive ever experienced. Its really easy to make and just takes lots of time to cook properly. Really hard to mess this dish up. Just keep cooking on simmer until the meat falls off the bone. Great dish by Chef John and highly recommended.Thanks to you sir.

  • This turned out even better than I expected it would. I made it the day before I planned to serve it. After skimming off the fat the next day, I brought it back to a simmer and cooked another 45 minutes or so. The meat falls off the bones and the sauce is incredibly rich with all the oxtail flavor.

  • Awh man, succulent piece of meat; the marrow from the bone cooks out while the meat is slowly cooked off the bownn, that rite thur is the cats meow. Ill tell ya what... you wanna make the dogs bark? Cook this n up cause it will make them dag gum dogs bark. In all seriousness though, this is an amazing dish and very easy to cook with wonderful flavor tell ya boo to fix some up for ya and teller ya boi Bar sent ya, shell know what it means. ;)

  • This recipe is really easy to follow and takes the worry out.Since I was pressed for time, after I had broiled the oxtails, I put everything in the pressure cooker for 75 minutes. My husband and kids loved itI also switched the white wine for red wine and added some sweetness with whole prunes.

  • This was delicious and fairly easy. My only problem was finding large pieces of oxtail. The grocery stores in my area only carry one brand of oxtail in shrink wrap packages. After opening the packages I discovered one or two large pieces of oxtail in each package and lot of smaller pieces, from nearer the tip of the tail, I presume. So, my presentation was not as pretty as Chef Johns because I had to remove the meat from a lot of small pieces of bone, but it still tasted great.

  • Excellent Very easy also, just time consuming but worth it. House smelled great all day. Planning to make it again and the leftovers arent even gone yet.

  • This was really tasty I added a bit of diced carrot and celery to the onions/garlic, and instead of simmering on the stove top, I placed this in a 225 degree oven for 4-5 hours instead. My burners on my gas stove have a tendency to burn things, even when on "low", so the oven was the better route for me. In hindsight, I would add the carrots and celery a bit later, as they did burn on the pan a bit while roasting the oxtail (my fault). Overall, the flavors were spot on, and the meat was fall-off-the-bone tender. We tossed this with ziti, but rigatoni would be great as well. Will make again

  • This was delicious. I added diced carrots and celery to the onions, used one can of tomato paste, a box of crushed tomatoes and a box of sauce (both by Pomi), and I heavy handed the sherry vinegar (shy of 1/2 cup). I used 4.5 lbs of oxtail and added white button mushrooms -quartered, and I doubled the herbs. I also added two packets of Sazon by Goya ( the plain one with corriander). My family devoured it

  • Awesome

  • My new oxtail recipe I used Julia Childs Sauce Tomate for the tomato sauce. Well worth the extra effort

  • I followed the directions exactly but it was a bland letdown. The sauce didnt even stick to the pasta, which I didnt rinse before using

  • Im literally on my second helping This is sooo good. I didnt use noodles but put my own spin on it using rice. I cooked the rice in the broth while adding water to the broth as it was super thick. I didnt put the oxtails in the oven either. I just cooked them straight away on the oven using the said ingredients and it didnt take 5 hours to cook either. In the end the meat was falling off the bones.

  • Excellent recipe. It was delicious.

  • I removed the meat before serving

  • This happened to my onions. Not sure what to do next.

  • I switched things up as I found the recipe to be a bit boring, it turned out 5 stars. Amazing. Added 3 diced up slices of bacon while browning oxtails, then let them melt away into the sauce. Omitted the rosemary. Enjoy

  • I loved this recipie Just made it and everyone scraped their plates clean I used 4 cups crushed tomatos and 4 cups tomato sauce (I like a lot of sauce) Great consistency and the sauce stuck onto my pasta really well. i added some garlic and onion powder at the end and some sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomato. Definitely will make this again- it was amazing

  • I use red wine instead of red sherry vinegar. It was very good, please try it.

  • Perfect recipe Ive made it several times since I first saw it and followed your instructions to the letter and it came out excellent every single time.

  • Always appreciate Chef Johns take on cooking I reduced the amount or garlic from 6 to 2 cloves and served over fresh linguine. This recipe is VERY HEAVY and RICH and needs to be balanced with light bright flavors. My 4 star rating is based on the fact that I am a carnivore and dont mind picking the meat off of bones and the fact that we really appreciate the nose-to-tail philosophy of using the animal. But I skimmed off a full 8 ounces of fat, as the chef recommended.

  • I cooked the ox tails in the oven as described, but then went with my slow cooker to finish as I couldnt mind the stove that long., as I had errands to run. This did allow me to pour off the fat from the drippings in the pan after deglazing it with the chicken broth, then put the tails and onion along with some chopped celery and carrot I wanted to use up, and the rest of the ingredients into my crock pot. I cooked it on high for 2 hours, then low for 4 hours, but it needed a couple more hours after that before the meat fell off the bone. It was worth the wait. I think next time I will use red wine instead of sherry vinegar though, just a taste preference.

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