Oxtail and Red Wine Stew

  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 3:20 h
  • Ready In : 3:40 h

The recipe

We first encountered Oxtail and Red Wine Stew at a restaurant in the Spanish town of Salamanca. We sat at pavement tables on a balmy summer evening and tucked into the tender meat and thick gravy which was accompanied by boiled potatoes and green leaves.

The stew is best left overnight in the fridge to flavour.


  • 2kg oxtail, cut across into 5cm thick pieces
  • 50g plain flour, seasoned
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 200g carrots, sliced
  • 175g leeks, thickly sliced
  • 4 tbsp brandy
  • 500ml red wine
  • 500ml brown beef stock
  • A bouquet garni of bay leaves, parsley stalks and thyme sprigs
  • salt and black pepper to season


Step 1

Trim any excess fat from the oxtail pieces and season well on both sides with salt and pepper. Toss the pieces in the seasoned flour and knock off the excess. Keep the remaining seasoned flour.

Step 2

Heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium- high heat, add the oxtail pieces and fry browned all over. Lift them onto a plate.

Step 3

Add the remaining oil to the pan along with the garlic, onions, carrots and leeks and fry for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.

Step 4

Pour over the brandy and set it alight. When the flames have died down, stir in the remaining seasoned flour, then gradually stir in the red wine and bring to the boil while stirring. Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the oxtail pieces, the beef stock, bouquet garni, ½ teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper.

Step 5

Cover and simmer gently for 2½–3 hours, until the oxtail is really tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then cover and chill overnight.

Step 6

The next day, scrape the layer of fat off the top of the casserole and discard. Gently reheat the casserole, then lift out the pieces of oxtail into a bowl. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan, pressing out as much of the liquid as you can with the back of a ladle. Discard what’s left in the sieve.

Step 7

Return to the heat and simmer vigorously for 5–10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and is well flavoured. Return the oxtail, season to taste and simmer for 5 minutes to heat through. Serve.

Recipe Type: Ingredients:
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