Braised Oxtail

An indulgent favorite, Braised Oxtail transforms into tender and gelatinous meat when braised low and slow for hours. Including carrots and celery during the braising process provides a healthy side of veggies while also infusing extra flavor. Plus, the broth can be strained and repurposed to create dishes like Taiwanese beef noodle soup or even savory Taiwanese minced meat. The straightforward method also extends beyond oxtail, and can be applied to braising beef shank, a dish enjoyed both at home and in restaurants.

Serves: 10
Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cooking Time: 4 hours – Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Helpful equipment

  • Dutch oven or large pot


  • 4.5-5 lbs. oxtail
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Boiling water to cover oxtail
  • 1/2-1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 3 slices ginger + 5 slices ginger
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 orange peels
  • 2 tbsp. rock sugar or to taste
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 spice bag
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 green onions
  • 5-8 carrots chopped
  • 3-5 celery chopped
  • Salt and sugar to taste


Step 1
Prep oxtail by trimming off excess fat.

Cleanse the oxtail:

Step 2
Place oxtail in a pot and pour enough water to cover it. Drop in three slices of ginger.

Step 3
Bring the water to a boil, then add Shaoxing wine.

Step 4
Carefully drop oxtail into the water, working in batches if necessary. Boil the oxtail for about 1-2 minutes and remove.

Sear the oxtail:

Step 5
Heat a pan over high heat with a teaspoon of oil. Add 3 pieces of ginger and sear the oxtail on both sides. Transfer to a Dutch oven or large pot for braising.

Braise the oxtail:

Step 6
Pour enough boiling water into a large pot to cover the oxtail. Pour in dark soy sauce. Add in remaining ginger, garlic cloves, peppercorns, orange peels, rock sugar, star anise, spice bag, and cinnamon stick.

Step 7
Bring the pot to a boil and simmer. After 3 hours, skim the surface to remove fat. Drop in chopped carrots and celery (refer to notes first). Adjust seasoning with sugar and salt to taste. Continuing simmering for another hour or until the carrots and beef are fork-tender.

Final steps:

Step 8
Remove the oxtail, allow it to cool, the trim off any remaining fat. Refrigerate or freeze the oxtail. Strain the beef stock (discard the braising ingredients) and refrigerate.

Step 9
The next day scrape any solidified fat from the surface of the broth. Use the stock to make soup incorporating the oxtail, or to simmer ground meat. Enjoy!


  • Oxtail tends to be very fatty. If you are concerned about fat content, consider omitting the chopped carrots and celery in step 7. Allow the oxtail to fully simmer 4 hours (or until it reaches your desired tenderness), then remove the oxtail from the pot and refrigerate the broth. Before refrigerating the oxtail, trim away any excess fat. The next day, skim off the solidified fat from the top of the chilled broth. Reheat the broth until simmering and then add in carrots and celery. If the oxtail is not sufficiently tender, reintroduce it into the broth and continue simmering as needed.
  • For serving, oxtail is best enjoyed warm; otherwise, the meat will be tough and rubbery.
  • Cooked oxtail can also be stored in the freezer. For the best taste when eating, enclose the frozen or thawed oxtail in a sealed, aluminum foil packet (similar to cooking fish in parchment) and reheat in the oven or air fryer until tender.

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