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A grey bowl filled with oxtail and grits, next to a cloth napkin.

Slow Braised Oxtail and Grits

Get ready for some super satisfying comfort food with this recipe for oxtail and grits!  Oxtails are slowly braised creating a flavorful stew that's spooned over creamy, buttery grits.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Carribean
Keyword braised oxtail, oxtail and grits
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 449kcal
Author Snacking in Sneakers


For the braised oxtail:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ¾ lb oxtail
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 4 scallions, chopped

For the grits:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • tsp salt
  • 1 cup quick grits (or regular grits)
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Place the oxtail in the pot, searing on each side for 2-3 minutes each, until all sides are browned. Use tongs to remove the oxtail and set aside on a plate for now, leaving any drippings in the pot.
  • Add the onion, carrots, and habanero. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender.
  • Add the garlic, brown sugar, Worcestershire, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper. Cook for one minute, stirring well.
  • Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes, giving everything a good stir. Return the oxtail to the pot, and add the beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove the cover and continue simmering another 1 hour, until the liquid has reduced by at least half forming a lovely stew-like consistency. (If necessary or desired, let cool then skim any fat off the top*.)
  • When the oxtail is nearing completion, prepare the grits.* Combine the water, milk, and salt in a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in the grits, mixing well so they do not clump. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, approximately 5-7 minutes total for quick grits (or 15-20 minutes for regular grits), until the grits are creamy. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter until fully melted and mixed in.
  • Serve the braised oxtail with some of the stew over the grits. Garnish with scallions. Enjoy!


  • If desired, trim the fat from the oxtail prior to cooking. I prefer leaving it on, as it adds flavor to the braising liquid, and then trim it before eating. If the reduced braising liquid is too oily, let it cool first, then skim the fat off the top prior to serving.
  • Quick grits and regular grits generally have the same 4:1 ratio of liquid:grits. If using instant grits, the ratio may be different. Always check the package for the correct ratio of liquid to grits, and defer to the package directions if they differ from mine.
Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving; assumes fat trimmed from meat prior to eating; estimates may vary based on amount of meat vs. bone in the oxtail you purchase): 449 calories, 15.5 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 705 mg sodium, 46 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 31 g protein, Vitamin D: 6%, Calcium: 13%, Iron: 25%, Potassium: 17%


Calories: 449kcal