It’s easy to make delicious fork tender oxtail meat with rich beef bone broth using this Instant Pot Oxtail Recipe. The oxtail broth is a delicious base for soups, stews, or braised dishes. 

oxtail broth in bowl with bones next to it

Recipes: If you enjoy cooking with oxtails, then be sure to visit my How To Can Oxtail Bone Broth recipe and Jamaican Oxtail Recipe In A Slow Cooker. If you need more Instant Pot Recipes, try my Easy Toscana Zuppa Soup Instant Pot, Creamy Instant Pot Clam Chowder Recipe, How To Cook Melt In The Mouth Roast Beef and Gravy and Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast Recipe

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What are oxtails?

Oxtails are the tails of cattle, known for their tender texture and rich flavor. The tails are a cut that contains meat, bone, and cartilage, making them bony and gelatin-rich. They are widely used in various cuisines and are best for slow cooking methods such as braising or stewing. Oxtails are perfect for adding depth and richness to oxtail soup, stews, curries, and braised preparations. 

How To Cook Oxtail

There are a variety of ways to cook oxtail.

  • Fry Pan: Braising oxtail produces tender meat and a tasty sauce.
  • Crockpot: Slow cooking enhances flavors and requires little effort.
  •  Instant Pot: Pressure cooking oxtails in an Instant Pot saves time and infuses rich flavor with added herbs and seasonings. 
  •  Grill: When you grill oxtails, it adds a smoky flavor and outdoor grill taste. However, the meat may be less tender due to the shorter cooking time.
  • Meat Smoker: Cooking oxtail using a meat smoker is a great option. It adds a delicious smoky taste, and the low and slow cooking process in the smoker also helps to tenderize the oxtail.

Why An Instant Pot Makes the Best Oxtail  

Using an Instant Pot for oxtail broth offers enhances the cooking process:

  1. Oxtail Bone Broth: Use an Instant Pot to make oxtail broth is easy.
  2. Time-saving: The Instant Pot’s pressure cooking function significantly reduces cooking time compared to traditional stovetop or slow cooker methods. Oxtails, known for their toughness, can be tenderized, and flavors can be extracted in a fraction of the time.
  3. Flavor infusion: The Instant Pot’s sealed environment traps steam and intensifies the flavors. As the oxtails cook under pressure, the broth becomes deeply infused with rich, savory flavors, resulting in a more robust and flavorful broth than conventional cooking methods.
  4. Tender Oxtail Meat: Cooking oxtails under pressure yields fork-tender meat that falls off the bone. 

Ingredients For Oxtail Bone Broth and Tender Meat

oxtails, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay vinegar garlic salt and pepper
  •  Oxtails: When choosing quality fresh oxtails, look for cuts with a vibrant red color, well-marbled meat, and a firm, moist texture. 
  • Garlic: For optimal flavor, use fresh sliced garlic.
  • Herbs: For the best flavor infusion, use fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage. 
  • Bay leaf: Please remember to remove the bay leaf after cooking, as it can pose a choking hazard.
  • Vinegar: A splash of apple cider vinegar helps extract all the goodness from the bones. 

To view all of the ingredients and measurements, please refer to the recipe card.

Easy Oxtail Recipe Instructions

With a few simple steps and an Instant Pot, you can have rich gelatinous bone broth and tender meat in under 2 hours.

Cleaning Oxtail Meat

Before cooking oxtail, it’s a good idea to clean them to remove any impurities or debris, which may include hair. 

  1. Trim any excess fat and discard.
raw oxtail with fat trimmed off

2. Place the oxtail pieces in a large bowl and cover them with water, adding a tablespoon of vinegar.

oxtail in a bowl with vinegar going in

3. Let the oxtails set for 5 minutes, then rinse the oxtail and remove any hair. 

4. Pat the oxtails dry with paper towels.

washed and dried oxtails

Safety Tip: To prevent the spread of germs while handling raw meat, it’s important to wear disposable gloves on your hands. Additionally, be sure to use a cutting board that can be sanitized with bleach after use. It’s also recommended to disinfect any surfaces or utensils that may have come into contact with the raw meat.

Oxtail Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Place the cleaned oxtails into the Instant Pot.
  2. Pour water over the oxtails.
  3. Add sliced garlic, fresh sage, thyme sprig, bay leaf, rosemary sprig, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place the lid on the Instant Pot.
oxtail recipe ingredients in an instant pot

5. Press the pressure button and set the pressure to high.

6. Set the pressure cooking time to 55 minutes.

7. Once done, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes.

8. Open the lid and remove and discard the stems of thyme, rosemary, sage leaves, and bay leaf.

9. Let the broth cool to room temperature.

10. Place the Instant Pot liner in the fridge overnight to allow the fat to rise and solidify.

11. Use a large spatula to remove the hardened grease from the top of the broth.

skimming fat off of broth

12. Remove the oxtails from the broth, pick off any meat, and discard the bones.

oxtail bones and cooked meat

What are some variations or flavor additions for oxtail bone broth?

 If you would like to change your bone broth’s flavor profile when cooking, here are some variations and flavor additions you can incorporate into your oxtail bone broth.

  1. Aromatics: Add aromatics like onions, bell peppers, carrots, and celery to infuse the broth with savory flavors.
  2. Herbs and Spices: Some herbs and spices that are a good choice to add when cooking bone broth are parsley, black peppercorns, star anise, and turmeric to add depth and complexity to the broth.
  3. Vegetables: Include vegetables like leeks, mushrooms, ginger, or fennel to introduce additional layers of flavor.

Tips For Cooking Oxtail Broth and Meat

Do you have to brown oxtails before cooking?

It is unnecessary to brown oxtails before cooking them in an Instant Pot. Browning seals the interior of the meat and bones, which goes against the goal of a pressure cooker. The purpose of a pressure cooker is to submerge the oxtail in water, allowing pressure to penetrate the bones and extract the gelatin to create a rich bone broth.

Should I soak oxtails in vinegar?

Soaking oxtails in vinegar and water can help tenderize the meat by breaking down connective tissues and reducing their toughness. Additionally, the acidity in vinegar can help remove any potential gamey flavors, resulting in a more pleasant taste. You can enhance their tenderness and overall flavor profile by soaking oxtails in a vinegar and water mixture for 15 minutes.

Can I freeze oxtail bone broth for later use?

Oxtail bone broth can be frozen. Freezing is a convenient way to preserve the broth. Here’s how you can freeze oxtail bone broth:

  1. Allow the broth to cool completely. It’s best to refrigerate it first to let any fat rise to the top and solidify, making it easier to remove later.
  2. Once cooled, use a ladle or a large spoon to skim off any solidified fat from the surface of the broth.
  3. Transfer the broth into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Leave some headspace at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  4. Seal the containers with tight fitted lids, ensuring they are well-covered to prevent freezer burn and maintain the quality of the broth.
  5. Label the containers with the date and contents for easy identification.
  6. Place the containers in the freezer and keep them upright until the broth is frozen solid.
  7. The frozen oxtail bone broth can be stored for several months. To use, thaw the broth in the refrigerator overnight or gently heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop.

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oxtail bone broth in a bowl with bones next to it
5 from 1 rating

Rich and Tender Instant Pot Oxtail Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 cups
It's easy to make delicious fork tender oxtail meat with rich bone broth using this Instant Pot Oxtail Recipe. The oxtail broth is a delicious base for soups, stews, or braised dishes.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 4 pounds oxtails
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • sage, 2 sprigs of fresh sage about 3 inches long with stem and leaves
  • thyme, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme about 3 inches long with stem and leaves
  • rosemary, 2 sprigs of fresh sage about 3 inches long with stem and leaves
  • 1 bay leaf , large
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

Cleaning Oxtail Meat and Timing

  • Trim any excess fat and discard.
    4 pounds oxtails
  • Place the oxtail pieces in a large bowl and cover them with water, adding a tablespoon of vinegar.
    1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Let the oxtails set for 15 minutes, then rinse the oxtail and remove any hair.
  • Pat the oxtails dry with paper towels.

Oxtail Instant Pot Steps

  • Place the oxtails into the Instant Pot.
  • Pour water over the oxtails.
    8 cups water
  • Add sliced garlic, fresh sage, thyme sprig, bay leaf, rosemary sprig, salt, and pepper.
    4 cloves garlic, sage, thyme, rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot.
  • Press the pressure button and set the pressure to high.
  • Set the pressure cooking time to 55 minutes.
  • Once done, turn off the Instant Pot and allow the pressure to release naturally for 30 minutes.
  • Open the lid and remove and discard the stems of thyme, rosemary, sage leaves, and bay leaf.
  • Let the broth cool to room temperature.
  • Place the Instant Pot liner in the fridge overnight to allow the fat to rise and solidify.
  • Use a large spatula to remove the hardened fat from the top of the broth.
  • Remove the oxtails from the broth, pick off any meat, and discard the bones.

Equipment

Notes

Safety Tip: To prevent the spread of germs while handling raw meat, it’s important to wear disposable gloves on your hands. Additionally, be sure to use a cutting board that can be sanitized with bleach after use. It’s also recommended to disinfect any surfaces or utensils that may have come into contact with the raw meat.
Serving: 1cup, Calories: 283kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 523mg, Potassium: 9mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.03g, Vitamin A: 2IU, Vitamin C: 0.5mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 5mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
Author: Gina Dickson

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