Friday Recipe: Cabernet Braised Oxtail With Okra & Heirloom Tomato Sauce

We will be serving Cabernet Braised Oxtail with Okra & Heirloom Tomato Sauce paired with Jackson Hills Cabernet Sauvignon.  This southern dish made from beef tails is one of my very favorites.

If you haven’t tried beef oxtail before, you really should.  We braise the oxtails low and slow in Cabernet Sauvignon so they are tender and delicious.  For this dish, we’ve made roasted tomato sauce from our estate heirloom tomatoes and serve it over The Old Mill of Guilford stone ground grits.  I’ve included the recipe below so you can try it at home.  It’s a hearty dish that is great on a cold fall day.

Hope to see you this weekend.

Cabernet Braised Oxtail with Okra & Heirloom Tomato Sauce
Paired with Jackson Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Recipe by Chef Justin Wangler
Serves 8


  • 8 lbs. oxtail
  • 1 quart veal stock
  • 2 quarts water
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup rice oil
  • 1 large onion, large dice
  • 2 medium carrots, large dice
  • 4 stalks celery, large dice
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 parsley stems


  1. Remove oxtail from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.  Bring veal stock and water to a boil.
  3. Season oxtail with salt.  In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, brown the oxtail in rice oil over high heat. Transfer browned oxtail to braising pan.
  4. Remove excess fat from sauté pan and add vegetables. Cook until caramelized and then add tomato paste. Stir and caramelize tomato paste with vegetables. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Transfer vegetable mixture to braising pan and add hot veal and water mixture. Add herbs. Cover with foil and roast in oven for 2½ hours or until tender.  Let oxtail cool in liquid for 1 hour.
  5. Remove oxtail and pick through, discarding bones, fat and gristle.  Strain cooking liquid, de-fat and reduce by half.  Reserve cooking liquid.

For the tomato and okra sauce

  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 2 stalks celery, small dice
  • 2 medium carrots, small dice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon, reduced by half
  • 2 cups roasted heirloom tomato sauce
  • 1 cup okra, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a large pot, sweat diced vegetables in oil over low heat until tender. Do not caramelize. Add the picked oxtail, reduced wine, reduced cooking liquid, tomato sauce, okra and thyme.  Bring to a simmer and season with salt.

For the grits:

  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup grits
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp. butter


  1. In a large pot, add water and milk and bring to a boil.  Slowly add the grits and salt, whisking vigorously until thick.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.  Whisk in the cream and butter.

To serve:

Ladle a portion of grits into each bowl and top with oxtail sauce.  Garnish with chopped parsley.