Braised Oxtail with Star Anise Braised Oxtail with Star Anise

Braised Oxtail with Star Anise

A traditional, warming beef oxtail stew with a hint of star anise, served with a seasonal parsnip and potato gratin.

prep time
20 mins

cook time
3 hours 40 minutes

6 people


  • 2kg beef oxtail pieces
  • 45ml/3tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 x 5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1.4L good, hot beef stock
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Small bunch fresh thyme sprigs
  • Extra fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
  • For parsnip and potato gratin:

  • 300g potatoes and parsnips
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 600ml hot double cream
  • 25-50g hard cheese, grated


  1. Place the oxtail in a large bowl and season.
  2. Heat the oil a large non–stick frying pan and cook the oxtail pieces in batches for 3-4 minutes until brown. Transfer to a 2.8L ovenproof casserole dish.
  3. In the same frying pan add extra oil if required and cook the onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes over a moderate heat until soft, but not coloured and transfer to the casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook in the oven at 170°C, 150°C Fan, Gas Mark 3 or on the hob for 3½hours.
  4. Garnish with the fresh thyme leaves and serve with potato and parsnip gratin and seasonal vegetables.

Parsnip and Potato Gratin:

  1. Peel and parboil 675g-900g potatoes and parsnips for 10-15 minutes. Drain, set aside to cool and slice.
  2. Grease a 1.2L ovenproof dish with the butter and arrange the potatoes and parsnips in layers, seasoning well.
  3. Scatter over the thyme leaves, pour over the cream and top with the cheese.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.