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Chef Ashleigh Shanti of Benne on Eagle, a James Beard Award-nominated restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina, shared this delicious recipe for braised oxtails. This cut of meat has a reputation for being tough, but low and slow cooking coaxes out rich flavor and makes the meat meltingly tender. The oxtails are cooked in a mixture of red wine, Bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries, and beef stock along with celery, onions, carrots, and plenty of garlic. The oxtail mixture is covered with a sheet of parchment paper and foil as it cooks, which keeps the steam—and the sauce—from evaporating. Shanti tops off the dish with a bright and tangy Sumac-Apple Relish, which cuts through the richness of the meat and balances out the dish. The relish can be made a few hours in advance, while the meat cooks, and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Stir it up before you serve it alongside the oxtails.


Credit: Peter Frank Edwards; Prop Styling: Kendra Surface; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe Summary

4 hrs
5 hrs
9 hrs 35 mins
35 mins




Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle oxtails all over with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in about 2 batches, add oxtails. Cook, turning occasionally, until evenly browned on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer browned oxtails to a large roasting pan.

  • Place bay leaves, thyme, pepper- corns, and juniper berries (if desired) on a piece of cheesecloth; bundle and secure sachet using kitchen twine. Add herb sachet, wine, stock, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic to oxtails in roasting pan. Cover with a layer of parchment paper and then a layer of aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven until oxtails are tender, about 5 hours.

  • Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the Sumac-Apple Relish in a medium bowl. When the meat is done, remove and discard sachet. Strain; discard juices, or reserve for another use. Serve oxtails alongside Sumac-Apple Relish.