Margarita's International Recipes

Ante Bellum America

Oxtail Creole

There are few things that scream "comfort food" as much as oxtail stew. Invariably delicious and cheap, the only thing that prevents me from making it more often is just how incredibly unhealthy it is. This recipe is even worse than most, containing not only the very fatty oxtails, but also bacon fat and butter. It was very good, though, and all my guests liked it (Mike, however, liked my somewhat-healthier recipe for Basque Oxtail Stew better).

The original recipe called for twice as much water as I used, as I prefer my stews thicker rather than soupy, other than that I didn't make any significant changes to the recipe. I served it with steamed white rice - which was good for absorbing the very rich sauce. This recipe will serve 4 as a main dish.

Oxtail Creole


  • 3 lbs oxtails
  • flour
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 8-oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Madeira


    Sautee the bacon in a large pot, remove the bacon bits leaving the fat. Dredge the oxtails in flour. Brown the oxtails in the fat. Add the ham and onion and sautee until lightly browned. Add the water, the barley, the salt, the peppercorns, allspice, bay leaf, thyme and basil. Mix, bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 3 to 4 hours or until the meat is tender.

    Stud the cloves into the onion. Add the onion, the celery, the carrot and tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove the onion. Mix the flour with the butter and cayenne. Stir into the stew. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the Madeira. Stir and cook until smooth. Serve.

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