Oxtails and Gravy Recipe

| March 21, 2021 | 8 Comments

Oxtails and Gravy

Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make delicious Ox Tails with Gravy at home. Easy to make, just takes a little time to cook. Printable recipe included.


Ox Tails and Gravy, enjoy.
Oxtails are a delicacy in many places. And, for good reason. They’re delicious. They take several hours to cook, but the rich brown gravy and fork tender meat make it all worth it.


Ox Tails and Gravy, slider.


I might have been a Senior Citizen the first time I ever took my first bite of Oxtails with Gravy. Don’t judge me. They just never showed up on Mama’s Big Oval Table.

I’d heard of them of course, and seen them in the grocery store. But, maybe like you, the thought of them kind of threw me off in wanting to try them for some reason.

Lesson learned.

My cousin Kay recently brought me a small package of meat. She handed it to me and said, “Here, cook these.” I might have frowned a bit when I saw it was Oxtail meat. A small package that weighed about a pound and a half. Her friend Jeannette from Michigan had given them to her. She passed them on to me.

She placed them in my freezer and I contemplated giving them a try. After searching out various recipes for cooking them, I decided to go with the Oxtails and Gravy recipe I’ve put together below.

What are Oxtails you might ask? They really are the tail of cattle. Originally they came from an Ox, but now they come from various cattle. They are skinned, and cut into short lengths and will probably be found in the frozen meat section at your grocery store – if they even carry them.

I did find that our local Food Lion store has them, but several other local stores do not carry them.

You’ll find recipes for Oxtail Stew, Jamaican Oxtails, Braised Oxtails and more if you start looking for them. I decided to do something more familiar and cooked them with Gravy.

They were delicious if I do say so myself.

The recipe is easy, it just takes about three hours to cook them down to be fork tender with the meat falling off the bone. But, the gravy you can make with the broth is worth the effort within itself.

I shared my dish with Cousin Kay. She has mentioned that gravy several times since. We both thought the meat itself was very good and reminded us a bit of chuck roast. I’d certainly cook it again.

It’s a bit pricey, but it’s considered a delicacy in many areas. It’s about $7.00 per pound at Food Lion at this time. Some other stores I checked have it at $10.00 per pound.

The meat is good, but I just couldn’t get myself to gnaw the bone. Didn’t have to, but they are shaped kind of odd and not easy to gnaw on like a chicken leg. Smile.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with our recipe if you decide to try it. Be adventurous… go for it at least once in your life.

Ready to give our recipe a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Ox Tails and Gravy, ingredients you'll need.
Oxtails and Gravy Recipe – You’ll need these ingredients.

Thaw frozen oxtails before cooking them for best results.


Ox Tails and Gravy, soak 30 minutes.
Place thawed oxtails in a bowl and cover them with water. Add about a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to the water, then let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Rinse them well in the water before draining them.


Ox Tails and Gravy, pat dry.
Drain the soaking water off of the oxtails. Rinse them again under cool running water and drain that off. Use a paper towel to pat the meat dry.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add salt.
Sprinkle lightly with salt, turning as needed to lightly salt them all over.


Ox Tails and Gravy, sprinkle with black pepper.
Do the same thing with a bit of black pepper.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add some worcestershire.
Sprinkle them lightly with about about 2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce. Turn and coat as needed.


Ox Tails and Gravy, coat with flour.
Sprinkle a bit of flour over the meat. Turn and coat as needed.

Any flour will work. I’m using Wondra Flour because it was already out and on the counter. Wondra Flour works well with making gravies.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add to oil.
Place a large stock pot over Medium heat on your stove top. Add about 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil and let it warm up. Place the oxtails in the heated oil.


Ox Tails and Gravy, brown all over.
Lightly brown the oxtails in the oil, turning as needed to brown all the sides and ends. This will only take 5-8 minutes or so.


Ox Tails and Gravy, save the bits.
Remove the oxtails from the oil and place them on a plate for the moment.

If you have a lot of oil in the bottom of the pot, you might want to drain most of it off. Leave a couple of Tablespoons of oil in the pot, and by all means, save the browned bits that are left. They are full of flavor. Smile.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add some flour.
Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of flour on top of the oil and the browned bits.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add some broth.
Add a couple of Tablespoons of the Beef Broth to the pot. Stir the bottom of the pot as you add the broth to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pot.


Ox Tails and Gravy, stir.
Stir the broth, the bits and the flour together and let this cook for about one minute. A wooden spatula is great for helping to scrape those bits up off the bottom of the pot. Add a little more broth and stir it into the paste you’ve just made. Stir out any lumps of flour that might remain.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add oxtails.
Place the browned oxtails back in the pot.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add more broth.
Add enough Beef Broth to cover the oxtails. I used a full 32oz carton, and about half of another carton to cook mine. If you only have one carton of broth, use enough water to finish covering the oxtails. You’ll be fine. Smile.


Ox Tails and Gravy, simmer.
Let the broth come to a low boil, then cover the pot.

REDUCE the heat to about Medium-Low and let the oxtails simmer for ONE HOUR.


Ox Tails and Gravy, slice the onion.
We’re going to check the pot in one hour, so just before you do that, slice the onion.


Ox Tails and Gravy, add onions.
Remove the lid and stir the oxtails around in the broth to be sure they aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Place the sliced onions in the broth and cover the pot once again.

Let them continue to cook over Medium-Low heat for ONE MORE HOUR.


Ox Tails and Gravy, remove meat.
After the meat has cooked for two hours, remove the lid and remove the meat from the broth.

They aren’t done yet, but we’re getting close. Patience my friend, patience.

Either turn the heat off, or remove the pot of broth from the heat.


Ox Tails and Gravy, remove any fat.
We want to remove as much of the fat from the broth as we can. You can either use a spoon to skim any fat off the top of the broth, or use something like this fat separator from OXO.

I just poured the broth into the cup and the fat rises to the top. Look carefully at the photo above and you’ll see the fat floating on top of the broth. I remove the plug in the spout and carefully pour the broth which comes from the bottom of the cup. I stop when I see fat starting to enter the spout.

The fat is discarded, and the remaining broth is poured into another bowl until I’ve emptied the broth from the cooking pot. This will take a couple of minutes, but you don’t want all that grease in your final gravy.


Ox Tails and Gravy, simmer together.
Place the strained broth and the oxtails back into your stock pot. Mine had reduced enough that I just used a smaller pot instead of the stock pot that I started with.

Let the meat and the broth simmer together over Medium-Low heat until the oxtails are fork tender. All total, I cooked mine for THREE HOURS.

Remove from heat when done.


Ox Tails and Gravy, enjoy.

These are great served over rice or mashed potatoes. I had a baked sweet potato, so I decided to serve these over rice. The black eyed peas rounded off the meal. I just needed some cornbread and I’d be set. Smile.


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Oxtails and Gravy Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Oxtails are a delicacy in various countries. They’re a bit pricey here in the USA, but something you need to try at least once. The recipe is easy to do, it just takes about three hours to cook. Serve them over rice for a complete meal.



3 pounds of Oxtails
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Flour, any type, approximately
2 cartons of Beef Broth, (32oz each)
1 Onion


Place thawed oxtails in a large bowl and cover with cool water.
Add 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
Let soak for 30 minutes.
Drain the oxtails. Rinse under cool running water.
Pat dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle oxtails with salt.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Sprinkle with Worcestershire Sauce, turning to coat as needed.
Sprinkle lightly with flour, turning to coat as needed.
Place a large stock pot over Medium heat on your stove top.
Add 2 Tablespoons of cooking oil.
Place the oxtails in the pot and brown lightly on all sides, turning as needed.
Brown the ends also. This will take 5-8 minutes. Remove oxtails from pot.
Drain any excess oil, leaving about 2 Tablespoons in the pot with the browned bits.
Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of flour in the oil.
Add a small amount of beef broth. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the bits.
Continue to stir and let the flour cook for one minute.
Place the oxtails back in the pot. Add enough beef broth to cover.
Bring pot to a slight boil. Cover. Reduce heat to Medium-Low.
Let the meat simmer for one hour.
After first hour, slice the onions and add to the pot. Cover again and simmer one more hour.
Remove the oxtails from the pot and set aside. They aren’t done yet.
Remove the pot of broth from the heat. Once it begins to cool slightly, spoon off the excess fat on top.
Return the oxtails to the broth. Cover and cook again until fork tender and falling off the bone.
This whole process of cooking will take about three hours.
Remove from heat when done. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.


Oxtails will take about three hours to cook on a low simmer. Cook until fork tender and meat is falling off the bone. Add a little more beef broth if needed to keep them covered during the first two hours. Let the broth reduce down during the final hour until done.

Keywords: oxtails, ox tails, gravy, beef broth, easy

Your Comments:  Have you tried Oxtails? What did you think about them?

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You might also like these…

Country Style Steak Recipe

Or, how about: Hamburger Steak

Maybe this:  Pork Neck Bones with Gravy



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Category: Beef, Main Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (8)

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  1. Ty C says:

    Made oxtails for the first time using this recipe! Kids and boyfriend loovveeed it!! Thank you!

  2. So delicious, like GRANDMA’S. Thanks for the it. Love you for sharing.

  3. Linda Fisk says:

    Making this tonight. The first time I had oxtails was when my husband was in the hospital. It was lunch time and I was hungry. I was reluctant to try oxtails, which was on the menu. I was assured by other people in line it was delicious, so I tried it and boy was I knocked out of my socks. It WAS delicious!!

  4. Barb Carter says:

    Ox tails are awesome in veg-beef soup too. Really rich broth. This sounds wonderful and will be making soon with rice and greens on the side.

  5. Britta says:

    Haven’t found oxtails yet, but in Germany, which is where I’m from, they make a yummy oxtail soup.

  6. Karen Miller says:

    I’ve used oxtail in my vegetable soup when beef bones weren’t available, but they’ve gotten too pricey for soup.

  7. Herb Harfst says:

    I have never eaten oxtails just because I never thought about it. Now I will have to try it just because it is beef.

    In my household, growing up, the tails of choice were pig tails. My Mother had a farmer-cousin who used to save them for us. They were cooked in a pressure cooker with sauerkraut and served with mashed potatoes.

    That was the one meal that we were not allowed to invite friends to share. It was a dish that required lots of fingers on and sucking. Mom said that all that bone sucking made us look like a bunch of cannibals eating a missionary. LOL

  8. Lori Dom says:

    It really sounds pretty good, not sure if I will try it, but maybe, never say never,right. Have a great week. God bless.

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