Oxtail Stew in Instant Pot

30 minute prep time, 1 hour cook time

5 pounds oxtails cut crosswise into 3-inch segments
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon  ghee or olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, finely sliced
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1½ cups marinara sauce
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1 Tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
black pepper to taste
¼ cup Italian parsley, minced


  1. Turn on the broiler and set the oven rack 6 inches from the top where the heat comes from. Place oxtails in a large bowl and add kosher salt.
  2. Toss the ingredients together and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Put the oxtails under the broiler for about 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn over so that each side is nicely browned.
  4. While the oxtails are browning under the broiler, set up your Instant Pot and turn on the sauté function. Add the ghee or fat of choice then toss in the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are softened.
  5. Sprinkle in some kosher salt, add the smashed garlic and stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  6. Take the browned oxtails and nestle them into the vegetables. Pour in any juices from the pan. Remember not to fill your pressure cooker more than two-thirds full.
  7. Pour half of the marinara sauce into the pot. Then add the fish sauce and aged balsamic vinegar into the jar/can and stir into the marinara sauce before pouring the rest into the pot. Stir well and make sure the liquid reaches the bottom of the pot.
  8. Cook under high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally or wait at least 30 minutes before manually releasing pressure.
  9. Taste the stew and adjust with salt, pepper and/or balsamic vinegar as needed.
  10. Plate with desired side and sprinkle with parsley.

I have served this with roasted spaghetti squash, rice cauliflower, rice, sliced French bread or even with a side salad. It’s savory and fatty so a nice red wine will pair nicely with this dish.

If serving with spaghetti squash: Rinse the whole squash, cut in half length wise , rub the interior with coconut oil and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 40 minutes. It is done with a fork can pierce the squash and pull up “spaghetti-like noodles”

Oxtail is a special treat for me as it cost me about $40 to purchase the five pounds of bones. I know many people claim that the collagen that comes from oxtail is really nutritious, but there is nearly 8 grams of saturated fat per ounce, this is not ideal for those with cardiovascular disease. Allow the stew to cool down and skim the fat on the surface to reduce the total fat of the dish.

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