Oxtail Ragu – Gluten Free

Oxtail ragu
Ox tail ragu served with pappardelle, parmesan and grated lemon rind with parsley served on a dark blue plate
Big yum

We’re looking forward to cooking dishes we haven’t tasted for months as the weather turns to Winter, and this unctuous, meltingly tender, fall off the bone oxtail ragu is perfect for snuggling up at home with dinner simmering away in the background.

We love having our weather forecasts in advance for planning what delicious things we want to cook and I can see that we’re in for a cold front this weekend. Bliss!

I don’t know about you but we just love the thought of a cold rainy day and cooking up something delicious for dinner.

Our weather up on the range gets cold enough that the fire goes 24/7  for days during winter and the cloud in the valley appears as if we have a huge lake in our backyard. Bliss!

View from deck looking to the mountains with mist filled valley
Lake view from our deck during winter


We’d been into town to visit our friendly butcher who knows our penchant for the next meal (love thy butcher) and he mentions he just had some oxtail arrive in the shop. Sold! 

This recipe will take about 20 minutes of your time to prep and then let it cook long and luxuriantly for around 5 hours on a slow simmer, giving it a gentle stir every hour or so then kick back into relax mode and let the stove top do all the work.

Oxtail is an economical cut and very easy to cook with, it simply requires time. The meat after long, slow cooking will literally fall off the bone leaving you with unctuous, melt in the mouth flavoursome meat for this ragu.

Oxtail is oily

Oxtail releases a lot of oil during the slow simmer. From time to time simply skim the oil from the top of the ragu.

oxtail ragu silaver ladle skimming oil from top of oxtail and vegetables
skimming the oil from the ragu

Time develops more flavour

You almost have to know that anything braised long and slow till meltingly tender always  tastes better after a day or so …..but this oxtail ragu delivers on the first day and only gets better on the 2nd or 3rd day. 


We love to finish this Ragu with a gremolata of fresh Italian parsley and lemon zest. Stirred through at the last moment before serving the parsley and zest just add ZING to the dish and completely complements the rich background of beef, wine and tomatoes

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Check out some other recipe winners for when the temperature drops and you need some comfort food

Cauliflower pasta bake with bacon and mushrooms 

Pea and Ham Hock Soup 

Smoky Chilli Con Carne

Smoked cod chowder

Have you ever tried oxtail? Are you squeamish at the thought of oxtail? Leave a comment below and let us know! ’cause I think we’re ‘gonna change your mind…..for the better.

Oxtail ragu
Yield: Serves 4

Oxtail Ragu - Gluten Free

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Oxtail ragu is a recipe to make on a cold day. After roasting the oxtail and vegetables the stovetop does all the work gently simmering away to release a wonderful sweet and unctuous sauce that is full of flavour. Serve it with pasta, rice or polenta for complete comfort food.


  • 3 1/2 pounds (1 1/2 kg) oxtail cut into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onion diced
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 2 medium sticks celery diced
  • 6 fat cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 x 14 ounce (400 g) tins chopped tomatoes
  •  small bunch thyme and 2 sprigs rosemary tied together
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon  of salt
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 oxo beef stock cube mixed with 1 cup water
  • parmesan cheese to serve
  • pappadelle pasta - optional


  • 1 cup roughly chopped flat leafed parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest


  •  turn oven on to 425 f (220 c)
  • pour oil into a small baking dish that holds all the oxtail
  • add onions and toss with oil
  • place oxtail over onions and season with salt and pepper
  • roast onion and oxtail for 30 minutes or till deep golden brown in colour
  • turn oxtail pieces over and add carrot, garlic  and celery
  • give everything a good toss
  • return oxtail and vegetables to oven for a further 30 minutes or so
  • place oxtail and vegetables into a heavy based saucepan
  • add tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, anchovies, thyme and rosemary, chilli and salt
  • make a cartouche by cutting out a disc of baking paper to fit size of pot
  • bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer
  • cover with cartouche
  • simmer gently on stovetop for 3-4 hours
  • skim oil using a ladle or spoon every hour or so
  • when meat is falling off the bone remove oxtail pieces
  • remove meat and shred using two forks 
  • return meat to sauce and stir through


  • finely chop the parsley
  • mix zest evenly through parsley


  • oxtail ragu freezes well

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 291Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 1mgSodium 736mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 9gSugar 16gProtein 9g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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