Monday, February 20, 2012

14 hours Sous Vide Oxtail

I like beef stew. The slow cooking will reward you with a rich, unctuous dish that's full of deep flavour. The most common cuts of beef sold as stewing steak include chuck, skirt, leg and flank – all hardworking muscles that are tough and need long, slow cooking. For this stew dish, I used the gelatinous oxtail for its collagen and marrow.

I found this interesting recipe from the British Larder site using sous vide method instead of the traditional stewing over stove or slow cooker. You can sous vide and keep the cooked meat in the fridge for days. On the actual day, preparation and cooking time will be just 30 minutes. Neat, easy and tasty.


Sous Vide Oxtail

2 kg oxtail, cut in pieces
8 whole onions
1 whole bulb of garlic
150g Sugar
500ml white wine
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C and preheat the water bath to 82°C.

Wash the whole onions and garlic; do not peel. Place them on a lined baking tray in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove the garlic and return the onions for a further 35 minutes.

Let the onions cool for 15 minutes before squeezing the roasted garlic pulp and onion pulp from the skins in to a small saucepan.

Add the sugar, wine and seasoning to the roasted onion and garlic pulp.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, puree the onions until smooth. Let the onion puree cool.

Place the oxtail and the cold onion puree in a vacuum bag, seal on full vacuum.

Place the bag in the preheated water bath and cook for 14hours.

Once the oxtail is cooked remove the oxtail from the vacuum pouch, pass the liquid through a sieve and set aside, once it cooled it will set in to a jelly.

Flake the meat from the bones while still warm, remove as much of the fat as possible, and set aside (Or pack and seal the meat in vacuum bags and keep in fridge if you are not serving on the same day).

 Roasting the onions and garlic in the oven gives the dish a full rounded flavour packed with natural sweetness

With a gentle squeeze, the garlic pulp and onion pulp come off easily from the skins after roasting in oven 

Add wine and the seasoning.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes

Puree the onions until smooth and let it cool

Fresh Oxtail

Place the oxtail and the cold onion puree in vacuum bags, seal on full vacuum. Sous Vide for 14 hours.

Flake the meat from the bones while still warm, remove as much of the fat as possible


50g unsalted butter
1 onion sliced
salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
3 potatoes, peeled and cut in 2cm dice
Cooking liquid from the oxtail
Cooled flaked oxtail meat


In a large saucepan melt the butter and sauté the onions with seasoning, cloves and the bay leaf until golden.

Add the diced potato and sauté for a further two minutes until the potato starts to brown.

Add the flaked oxtail and the cooking jelly.

Turn to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.


  1. Why do you cook the oxtail sous vide only to later simmer it (relatively high heat compared to water bath immersion) for 20 minutes?

  2. I had a similar attempt but cooked the oxtail in reduced beer: gloriously tender, but a bit boring in taste.

  3. In the recipe, you may want to specify garlic cloves, and not just cloves. Not everybody has the time to look through the photos to see which you meant. Good recipe regardless, I enjoyed it a lot.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I have updated the recipe.


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