Classic Oxtail Stew

Winter is well and truly here and this South African classic is made in homes across the land. I am sure we all have our mothers’ oxtail stew recipes on hand. Feel free to tweak this as you please.

Click here to purchase free range grass fed oxtail.

Oxtail Stew

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours
Servings: 4


  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tin Red Lentils 400g
  • 1 kg Oxtail
  • 1 Onion Roughly chopped
  • 300 g Brocolli Tenderstem Green Beans is just as good
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 500 ml Beef Stock
  • 250 ml red wine as always – no need for expensive wine
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 50 g Tomato Paste Those small tins of tomato paste
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard I add a little more, only becuase I am addicted to Dijon Mustard


  • You can use this for a potjie or a deep stew pot at home. These instructions are for the home user. Heat the oil in the pot and sear the oxtail on all sides. Once done, remove and set one side
  • On medium heat – next add the onions, fry until soft and just starting to colour.
  • Now add the garlic, paprika, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cayenne pepper and mix together and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add the Dijon mustard, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, celery and carrots. Give it a mix and leave it for not more than 10 minutes. We just want to sweat it,
  • Add the red wine and again give it a mix.
  • Usually after 5 minutes the wine starts bubbling, add the oxtail back and about half the stock.
  • Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to medium again, and cover the pot and leave to simmer for about 2 1/2 hours. After every hour, just give a peep to check on the liquid levels and add stock as you see necessary. A good gentle simmer is needed.
  • Once you have reached 2 1/2 hours, add the lentils and broccoli and cover again, this time lowering the heat to medium-low for another 15 minutes or so.
  • When ready, season with salt and pepper to taste


The broccoli at the end adds a fresh crunch to the dish. As mentioned you could use green beans or any other crunchy veg that does not need much time in the pot.



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