Glazey tails

Glazey tails

Hungry For That
Lauren Bamford

I often see oxtails in the butchers, as they are available pretty much all year round. Then, that one time when I really want them, they are always out of stock. It’s like everyone gets the same idea for oxtail at exactly the same time. I swear there is a trigger in the temperature. When I can get my hands on them, this is my favourite thing to make.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 brown onions, quartered
1/2 garlic bulb, cloves crushed
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1kg oxtails
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 roma tomatoes, halved lengthways
3 guajillo chillies, soaked for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
50g butter
1/2 lime, juiced
rice, steamed, to serve


  1. Bring a heavy-based saucepan to a medium heat. Add the oil, 4 onion quarters, the ½ garlic bulb and oxtails and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, or until the tails have browned slightly. Add the salt, season with pepper and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours, checking intermittently and removing any scum that might come to the surface.
  2. Remove the tails and let cool. Set aside 4 bone pieces and shred the meat from all the remaining tails then refrigerate. Strain the cooking liquid, reserving 750 ml and discard the rest. Refrigerate to cool and skim off the fat once it comes to the surface.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roast the tomatoes, the remaining onion quarters and garlic cloves and the chillies for 25–30 minutes, or until soft. Peel the garlic and then purée all of the roasted vegetables in a food processor or blender and add the cumin.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 250°C.
  5. In a saucepan over a medium heat, simmer the reserved cooking liquid and the roasted vegetable purée until reduced by half. Add the oxtail meat, bone pieces, butter, lime juice and salt to taste and cook for a further 15 minutes. Transfer to a small roasting tin and roast in the oven for 15 minutes to give it some nice colour.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.
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