Barbecued Oxtails with Buttered Pasta

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Barbecued Oxtails with Buttered Pasta

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In days of old, no part of an animal went to waste. In the case of oxtails today, they don’t actually come from the tail of an ox but from beef cattle. Oxtails are ideal for slow braising in liquid as their bones and marrow create a wonderfully rich flavorful stock and the bits of tasty meat between the bones are deliciously tender. The stock from the bones and marrow has intense beef flavor and there is a lot of collagen which cooks down into unctuous gelatin. Unfortunately, this “throwaway” part of the cow is no longer free nor cheap as oxtails are now fashionable and popular at upscale restaurants. Older clienteles have embraced this as nostalgic food while younger customers think oxtails are trendy and exotic.

Oxtail stew is comfort food for me, and I like to cook it in my pit with some aromatic herbs and vegetables. The oxtails are seared first, and aromatic vegetables are then added. The meat and vegetables are then cooked in a pit to receive some smoke before being covered to braise in the pit. When done, the meat is removed from the bone and the vegetables are purred into a delicious sauce. I chose to serve it store bought pasta that was boiled and then tossed with some butter. If you can’t find oxtails, my recipe works well with beef neck or beef shank, but these have less meat and less flavor.

  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 oxtails, about 3-4 lbs, trimmed and cut into pieces (mine were from Costco)
  • 1/2 cup of flour seasoned
  • SYD All Purpose Rub
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled whole
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock (I used Cambells)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary


  1. Sprinkle medium coat of SYD rub on oxtails and then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
  2. Heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil in a heavy pan and brown oxtail in batches before transferring to a disposable half foil pan.
  3. Pour off excess oil in the pan and then sauté your garlic, onion, carrots, and celery
  4. Add the 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 cups beef stock, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup brown sugar, fresh thyme, and SYD All Purpose rub to taste
  5. Bring to a boil and then pour onto the oxtails in the foil pan. Add the fresh thyme and rosemary
  6. Add water to just cover the oxtails in the pan
  7. Smoke the foil pan in a 325F smoker with some apple wood for 1 hour and then cover with foil once the oxtails receive enough smoke flavor.
  8. Once foiled, you can cook the covered foil pan in your oven on a sheet pan to catch any spills
  9. Remove the pan from your pit or oven when oxtails are tender, about 3-4 hours total cook time
  10. Remove oxtails and let cool. Using your hands, strip the meat from the bones and place in a saucepan. Discard the bones
  11. Put the liquid and remaining vegetables in the pan into a blender. Puree the sauce
  12. Return the blended sauce to the oxtail. Season to taste with more Worcestershire sauce and SYD All Purpose rub
  13. Serve on top of some buttered pasta of your choice. Sprinkle some chopped Italian parsley as garnish.
  • Author: Harry Soo
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American

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