Braised Oxtail and Gruyère Sandwiches Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Note: The oxtail mixture is also great served on its own with a sweet-and-savory Red Onion Jam.

Recipe Facts

Active: 60 mins
Total: 5 hrs
Serves: 6 servings

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For the Oxtail:

  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

  • 2 pounds oxtails

  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine

  • 3 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Sandwiches:

  • 6 small loaves of ciabatta or hearty sandwich rolls

  • 3/4 cup sliced pickled cherry peppers (optional)

  • 12 ounces Comté, Gruyère, or Swiss cheese, thinly sliced


  1. For the Oxtail: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 250°F. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add as many oxtail pieces as will fit in a single layer. Cook until well browned, about 6 minutes. Flip pieces and cook until second side is browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining oxtails until all oxtails are browned.

  2. Without removing any oil or rendered fat, add onion, carrot, and celery to now-empty pot and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom, until vegetables are well-browned, about 10 minutes total. Stir in tomato paste until vegetables are coated. Add wine and cook, scraping up browned bits. Simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and bay leaves. Return oxtails to pot, bring to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, and transfer to the oven. Cook until oxtail meat comes easily off the bone, about 4 hours.

  3. Using tongs, transfer oxtails to a large bowl. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Discard solids. Place saucepan over medium heat and simmer stock until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove oxtail meat from bones and shred with fingers or two forks. Return meat to stock as it simmers. Finished stock/oxtail mixture should be very thick and sticky. Stir in parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. Oxtail mixture can be made up to 4 days in advance.

  4. To Make the Sandwiches: Preheat broiler to high. Slice bread in half horizontally and place cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from broiler. Divide oxtail mixture evenly between bottom halves of bread. Top oxtail with pickled cherry peppers and slices of cheese. Remove top halves of bread from tray. Broil bottom halves until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Close sandwiches and serve.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
599 Calories
34g Fat
22g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 599
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 44%
Saturated Fat 16g 79%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 1364mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 673mg 52%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 513mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)