by Kyla Van Heerden


  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) canola oil
  • 1.5kg oxtail pieces
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Cajun spice
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) chilli flakes (or 7.5ml chopped fresh chillies)
  • 3 sprigs each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ beef stock cube, dissolved in 2 cups (500ml) hot water
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 15g spring onion, chopped
  • 250g portobello mushrooms, sliced


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the oxtail and fry for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. (Add more oil if needed.)
  3. Stir in the Cajun spice, cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, chilli flakes, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
  4. Return the oxtail to the pot and stir.
  5. Add the liquid beef stock, red wine (if using), tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, and mix well.
  6. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring every 25-30 minutes. Add more water as needed if the liquid in the pot cooks away.
  7. After 2 hours, stir in the carrots, spring onion and mushrooms. Simmer over low-medium heat for a further 45-50 minutes, until the meat is “fall-off-the-bone” tender.
  8. Serve with mash or creamy samp.

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