Spiced Oxtail Stew



Serves 6


  • 2kg Oxtail
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt
  • Good grind of black pepper
  • 4 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 100g dried apricot, chopped
  • 50g raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml water
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 5 hours

Spiced Oxtail Stew

A beautiful dark sticky stew which is lovely make and even lovelier to eat. It takes 30 minutes to prepare and 4 hours and 30 minutes to cook leaving you time to enjoy your day while the aromas fill the house. I like to fully prepare and cook stews in the morning. This way, I can relax for the rest of the day knowing that the family will be well-fed in the evening. The flavours will develop throughout the day and the meat will continue to tenderise. To reheat, simply pop it in the oven with a lid on for 30-45 minutes to bring it back up to pipping.


Preheat the oven to 160/315/gas 2. You will need a large ovenproof dish with a lid.

Heat a frying pan over a high heat and dry roast the fennel and coriander seeds for 2 minutes until they pop. Remove and grind to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the salt, pepper and paprika and mix. Pour onto a plate. Dip in the oxtails so you are left with a light crust on each.

Heat the oil in your casserole dish to a high temperature and brown the meat. You will most likely have to do this in batches. Once browned, remove the meat and set to one side.

Turn down the heat and add the onions and celery. Stir for 5 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent. While you are stirring be sure to scrape any browned meat off the bottom as this will deepen the flavour of the stew. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick and star anise. Stir for a further 2 minutes.

Tip the meat back in to the casserole dish and add the chopped tomatoes, water, bouillon, honey, bay leaf, tomato purΓ©e, raisins and chopped apricots. Add another pinch of Maldon Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bring the dish to a slow boil, put the lid on and pop in the oven for 4 hours and 30 minutes. After 3 hours of cooking, take it out and add 200ml water and replace the lid and pop it back in the oven.

Once it’s finished cooking the meat should be falling off the bone. Leave it for 10 minutes to rest before serving.

Serve with quinoa or a roasted sweet potato and lots of greens.



This is one of my favourite new recipes. I had forgotten just how gloriously wonderful oxtail is. I only brought it on a whim when I went to the shops recently and couldn’t find what I was looking for. The marrow makes the most amazing sauce. YUM!”

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