How to cook oxtails on the stove with gravy and vegetables until they’re fork tender for dinner. Nutritious meal full of flavor you’ll love. If you loved our slow cooker oxtails but want to cook them faster, this is it.
This is how to cook oxtails on the stove to perfection. If you don’t want to turn on your oven because it’s too hot outside, this is a great option. This tough cut can become tender and juicy if braised and cooked in a cast iron skillet or as one of our easy dutch oven recipes. (affiliate links present)
How to Cook Oxtail
We shared the other week how to cook oxtails in the oven the other week, those were tasty but during the hot hot summer months you don’t always want to bake. If you have always been curious about this cut of beef you really should try to make them at home, it’s easier than you might think.
Here we will show you how to cook oxtail to tender so you can enjoy it in a stew or as is with a few side dishes. Tweak the seasonings and create all sorts of different flavors whether it’s spicy, Jamaican or with just salt and pepper this easy oxtail recipe is a winner for dinner.
Now go into your local grocery store and grab a few so we can get going. If you don’t see any in the meat department, ask your butcher because there are likely a few in the back. Alternatively many times you can find them frozen and just defrost before following our instructions.
If you’re going to use your electric or gas burner at home you will want a decent amount of liquid for it to slow cook in. It takes a few hours so all the flavors in the gravy will soak in as the meat breaks down and gets nice and tender. I love to sear oxtail in my seasoned cast iron skillet. You could use it for the whole recipe if the sides were deep enough.
You would need a lid for you pot too though so if that isn’t in the cards I would opt for a dutch oven, I love mine. Okay so I actually have 3 of these because they work for all the things. You may only think of this in regards to camping but oh no you should use them in your oven or burner too y’all.
Made of cast iron you can sear right in the same pot. If yours has an enamel coating you can still do so but it won’t become seasoned like it would without it. I have both styles and use them for a variety of dutch oven recipes of all kinds. If you want to make a dutch oven oxtail stew out of this it would be wonderful as well.
How to Cook Oxtails on top of the Stove
This shows you just how to cook the meat itself. You could easily add butter beans into the mix to make it more of a complete meal if desired. Jamaican oxtail is so popular that they have even bottled this sauce you can use with all the YUM already mixed together. If you want to make homemade we have suggestions below.
This isn’t an entirely a game changer if you don’t but there are a few reasons why it’s best if you do. First off you lock in the juices so they become more moist. Secondly this step adds texture to the overall dish so it is suggested.
Main ingredients you’ll need to get them to fall off the bone are as follows;
- Defrosted not frozen oxtail
- Onion and carrots
- Salt and black pepper or any other sort of seasoned salt you like
- Large cast iron skillet, pot or dutch oven with a lid to be used on your stove top
You will want a thickener at the end to use with the drippings in order to make a gravy of sorts to serve with your dish. If you want a deeper flavor you could add some Worcestershire sauce into your sauce, that is always a winner.
How to Cook Oxtail Stew on the Stove
If you want to make this more into a stew you will just add more liquid, and vegetables too if you wish. I’d include a can of drained beans and halved potatoes with all the other things listed below.
- Combine salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary with olive oil. Coat oxtails with herb mixture (do not remove excess fat, trimming the fat will remove some of the great flavor). Heat skillet with a lid or dutch oven to medium high. Add olive oil and sear oxtails on all sides.
- Remove oxtails, set aside. Reduce heat to medium low, add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add minced garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not burn the garlic or it will taste bitter.
- Add beef broth and bay leaf with the oxtails. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, place lid on skillet, and slow cook for 2 1⁄2 hours.
- Add chopped carrots. Cover the pot or skillet and cook 30 minutes cooking time. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water or use the liquid in the skillet.
- Whisk into skillet to create a gravy.
- Add more cornstarch if needed.
How to save cooked oxtail
You can definitely enjoy these again the next day but to stay moist you should store them properly. Wait until everything is room temperature first of course.
- Then transfer pieces into a container with a lid. Pour as much gravy up to 3/4 of the way up the bone as well. This will add flavor and keep them tender.
When reheating oxtails remove from the fridge. Likely there may be a layer of fat on the top of the sauce, no worries. You can scrape that off or leave as is, it’s just a bit of fat.
- Fat is flavor y’all. Transfer food into a microwave safe dish and pour liquid over the top. Heat for 1 minute, then flip your pieces over to the other side and heat another minute.
Continue this routine until they are as warm as you’d like them to become. If you don’t have any sides left over I would suggest throwing in some Instant Pot potatoes and carrots to serve alongside. We love leftovers, and hate wasting food, because two meals is better than one for sure right?? Enjoy and let us know what you think!!
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How to Cook Oxtails on the Stove
- 1 pan
- Combine salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary with olive oil. Coat oxtails with herb mixture. Heat skillet with a lid or dutch oven to medium high. Add olive oil and sear oxtails on all sides.
- Remove oxtails, set aside. Reduce heat to medium low, add onions and cook until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not burn the garlic or it will taste bitter.
- Add beef broth and bay leaf. Add oxtails. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a low simmer, place lid on skillet, and cook for 2 1⁄2 hours.
- Add chopped carrots. Place lid on skillet and cook 30 minutes. Mix cornstarch with a small amount of water or use the liquid in the skillet. Whisk into skillet to create a gravy. Add more cornstarch if needed. When gravy is thickened, serve.