Braised Oxtail and Kale with Polenta

Oxtails and polenta

Oxtail is delicious, tough meat, but when cooked properly it becomes this melt-in-your mouth delicacy. It takes a while to cook until the meat becomes tender, but once it does, you are in for a treat. I braised my oxtail with red wine and kale and served with polenta, which is corn meal that when cooked, is similar to mashed potatoes in texture and appearance.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 3.5 Hours


3 pounds of oxtail

1 shallot, diced

1 large carrot, diced

2 celery stalks diced

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Kosher salt

Black pepper

Red pepper flakes

Olive oil


1 cup dry red wine

2 cups chicken stock

3 parsley sprigs

2 rosemary branches

2 bay leaves

½ pound of Kale

8 cups of whole milk

2 cups of medium or fine cornmeal

1/3 stick of butter


For the Oxtails

  • Pat dry the oxtail and season with salt and pepper all around the meat. Lightly coat with flour.
  • Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a Dutch oven and heat over a medium-high flame. Add the oxtails and cook until the meat begins to brown all around
  • Remove the meat and place it on paper towel covered plate. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are translucent and the garlic is softened.
  • Add the carrots and celery and cook until they are softened. Once softened, add a nice pinch of the red pepper flakes depending on how much of a kick you want it to have
  • Using kitchen twine, tie together the rosemary, the bay leaves, and the parsley
  • Transfer the meat back into the Dutch oven and let it simmer
  • Add the tomato paste, wine, and stock and stir. Add the bundle of herbs
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer after 5 minutes. Simmer over a medium heat until the mixture reduces
  • Place the pot into the oven and let it cook until meat is fork tender, about 3-3.5 hours. Turn meat every half hour
  • With 45 minutes to half an hour left, add the kale to the mixtures and coat it with the juices. Make sure to skim the fat and any excess oils off the top of the mixture with a spoon before adding the kale


For the Polenta

  • While the oxtails are in the oven, prepare the polenta
  • In a saucepan, add the milk and bring to a boil over a high heat
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and stir
  • In a separate bowl, add the cornmeal and stir in a little milk. Stir so that it is not lumpy, but forms a somewhat thick consistency so when you add it to the warm milk it doesn’t clump
  • Add the cornmeal slowly into the saucepan and stir until the mixture thickens
  • Stir in the butter
  • Lower the heat and stir every 10 minutes. Add water as needed if the mixture thickens. You want to keep the polenta smooth and not too thick. Season with salt and pepper if more is needed


  • Transfer the polenta onto a plate
  • Make sure the oxtails are fork tender and place them on top of the polenta
  • Garnish with goat cheese or some grated parmesan
  • Enjoy!

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