Oxtail with Herb Dumplings Oxtail with Herb Dumplings

Oxtail with Herb Dumplings

prep time
10 mins

cook time
3 hours 30 minutes

4 people


  • 1.3kg oxtail pieces
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour mixed with 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 600ml stout or brown ale
  • 300ml water
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly cubed
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • For the Dumplings:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • Salt
  • 75g butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan, Gas Mark 3.
  2. Mix the flour and mustard in a large bowl. Season. Toss the oxtail pieces in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the oxtail for 4-5 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a large ovenproof casserole dish and add the remaining ingredients except the parsnips and celery. Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to a preheated oven and cook for 3-3½ hours.
  4. Prepare the dumplings: place the flour, salt and butter in a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and add the herbs. Stir in enough water to form a smooth dough and shape into 8 evenly-sized dumplings. Cover and set aside.
  5. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the parsnips and celery. 20 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the stew from the oven, add the dumplings and return to the oven uncovered.
  6. Serve with Savoy cabbage.


Any remaining stew tastes even better the next day. Remove from the fridge and heat slowly at the same oven temperature for about 1 hour until piping hot.