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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 2.82 / 5 (22 votes)

Prep time:
15 min, plus overnight chilling
Cook time:
3 hrs 15 min

Tom Parker Bowles slow-cooks this British classic for a deep and rich flavour


1. Brown the oxtail in the butter and oil in a large casserole pan. Add the vegetables and toss in the cooking juices.

2. Add the peppercorns, bouquet garni and water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and cover the pan. Turn the heat right down and simmer until the meat is really tender and falling off the bones. This can take up to 3 hours.

3. Strain into a bowl. Cool the cooking liquor, cover and put in the fridge.

4. Discard the vegetables and bone. Divide the meat into small pieces and discard the fat and skin. Season the meat and store overnight in the fridge.

5. The next day, remove the fat from the top of the jellified cooking liquor. Mix in a pan with meat and bring to just below boiling. If it needs thickening, mix a little flour into paste with a splash of the liquid, pour back in and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sherry and serve.

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Latest Comment


Don't fanny about with cooking this for three hours. Pressure cook for 30 mins after browning with an organic beef stock cube and 2 thirds full of water. Leave to cool, drain off, remove the meat off the boneand discard the rest then repressure for another 15 with the veg, a bay leaf and fresh thyme.When cool Mouli.

HughT43855 HughT43855  Posted 23 Dec 2010 2:23 PM

I love the taste of this soup but it is incredibly expensive and I thought Oxtail was a poor man's food! 1.25kilo cost me £7 (Jan 2010)- weight for weight after discounting bone and fat, steak is cheaper (and I can remember butchers giving it away)! After other ingredients & electricity for the very long cooking time this works out at £2 - £2.50 a decent bowlfull; even exotic soups like lobster bisque are far cheaper and vegetable soups are a minute fraction of this cost. The oxtail broth is lovely but the meat remains fibrous & disappointingly chewy - and I gave mine an extra hour & a half cooking time. Next time I fancy oxtail soup I'll be reaching for the Heinz can in Sainsbury!

tonyW87682 tonyW87682  Posted 13 Jan 2010 10:47 AM

I followed the recipe and thought it very bland but I added a good shake of Worcester Sauce and a tablespoon of English Mustard it it finished up OK

SteveM48992 SteveM48992  Posted 21 Nov 2008 9:11 AM

Maybe it just neded a little salt, or you used too much water? I made this in a slow cooker and cooked overnight slowly. Itr was really rich, however, it needed salt.

bobM84734 bobM84734 Posted 30 Sep 2008 10:28 PM

For someone is renowed in the family for my soups, thought i'd try this one. after browning the oxtails leaving a nice residue for when i deglaze the pan and using fresh herbs in my bouquet garni and following the recipe to the letter. Absolutley tasteless.

billysquibble billysquibble Posted 25 Aug 2008 2:30 PM

I followed the recipe except I had no sherry and committed cookery sin and used a beef stock cube to add a bit of flavour to the water instead and it is really tasty. You really have to cook it for hours though.

LindsayGrace LindsayGrace Posted 20 Jul 2008 7:05 PM

must of done something wrong because i thought it was tasteless

big balls1 big balls1 Posted 20 Apr 2008 3:25 PM