Oxtail Stew

In winter I crave rich meaty stews, and one of my favourite meats is to use oxtails to make a stew.  The meat is rich and tasty and the bones add their goodness to this long-simmering stew.

When you eat it, you just know it is doing you good.

This recipe is AIP-friendly.

Oxtail Stew

serves 6


  • 2 tbsp fat of choice (I used lard)
  • 2 oxtails cut into 1″-2″ pieces
  • 2 onions – sliced
  • 3 large carrots – cut in chunks
  • 3 sticks celery – cut in chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cups bone broth
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch to thicken the broth

Heat a large, heavy based pot over a medium-high heat.  Melt 1 tbsp of the fat and the brown the oxtail pieces on all sides, working in batches.

Remove the meat from the pot and add the remaining fat.  Add the onions, celery and carrots and turn the heat down to medium-low.

Cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften slightly.  Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and then pour in the broth.

Add the oxtails back to the pot and bring the whole thing to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for at least 3 hours until the meat is soft and tender and is falling off the bone.

Remove the oxtail pieces from the stew and take the meat off the bones (save the bones for making bone broth).

Remove the bay leaves and add the meat back to the stew.

Mix the tapioca starch with a little cold water and add to the pot.

Reheat and allow to simmer for a few minutes to thicken the broth, then serve.


Just look at this beautiful chunk of meat!


This stew reheats beautifully, and gets better and better for a day or two sat in the fridge.

I will often make this for dinner, knowing that the leftovers can be eaten for lunch over the next couple of days.

Shared on Paleo AIP Recipe Roundup #66

Elk and Heart Stew

This is what we ate for dinner last night  – a hearty stew made from elk stew meat (really need to ask what cuts they use for this!) and some (grassfed) beef heart that I had in the freezer.

I have to say that it was absolutely delicious!  Rich, meaty, and satisfying

Elk meat does not need lots of cooking – in fact most of the time you need to serve it as rare as you can stomach it, but in this instance it can take a long cooking time (which is necessary to make the heart tender as this tends to be fairly tough)….  they key to having tender elk and tender heart is to keep the stew barely simmering for the long cooking time…  the long moist  cooking tenderizes the heart but prevents the elk from becoming tough and dry.

This is an AIP-friendly meal that includes organ meats (the heart), bone broth and lots of good-for-you veggies.  It does contain wine, but the alcohol will evaporate during the long cooking.  This can be left out if it is a problem for you, just replace it with an equal volume of bone broth.

If you can’t source elk meat, I am sure that this would work equally well with any of the tougher cuts of beef  or even bison. And you could probably make it out of all heart meat as well if you wanted to..  in fact I bet that would taste awesome!

Elk and Heart Stew

serves 6 with plenty of leftovers


  • 1lb elk stew meat
  • 1½lb grass-fed beef heart
  • 1-2 tbsp fat of your choice (I used bacon fat)
  • 2 large onions – chopped
  • 4 large carrots – peeled, trimmed and chopped into chunks
  • 3 large parsnips – peeled, trimmed and chopped into chunks
  • 2 sticks celery – cut into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic – peeled and crushed
  • 8oz mushrooms – quartered
  • 1 cup red wine (optional – replace with bone broth)
  • 3-4 cups bone broth (beef broth is ideal but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼tsp ground ginger
  • ½ cup fresh parsley – chopped
  • sea salt to taste

The first thing you need to do is to cut your elk meat and heart into cubes – about 1″ square, but you don’t need to be to finicky about out….  rough approximation is fine…  Season the meat with salt and pepper.

Melt your fat in a large, heavy-based pot over a medium-high heat, and add a few of the cubes of meat.  Don’t add them all at once, you want to sear (or brow) the meat, not stew it.  It is far better to do lots of small batches than one huge batch.  Sear the meat on all sides and then remove to a bowl.  Add more fat as you need to.

Once the meat is all seared, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions, carrots, parsnip, celery and garlic. Toss and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes.  Now add the wine and deglaze any crusty, caremelized bits of the base of the pan.  Add the seared meat and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl, the broth, the mushrooms and all the herbs and spices and simmer on a very gentle heat for around 3 hours.

Do not allow the stew to boil or your meat will become tough.


Just before serving taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with extra salt as necessary.


I served this with a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, but you could use whatever veg you fancy.

Oxtail Stew

I am a big fan of nose to tail eating, and this is literally the tail…

Oxtails make a delicious meaty stew and I love them.  But I don’t get to eat them very often because, unlike a lot of offal, they are not particularly cheap.  Part of that I think is due to the fact that there is only one tail per cow, but also, they became fashionable when a lot of chefs started to use them, and the price rocketed.  If possible, use grass-fed oxtails.

This is a slow cooker recipe, which tenderizes the meat wonderfully and extracts plenty of nutrients from the bones.

It is perfect for a cold winters day.  Or even a snowy one like today.  First day of spring and it is snowing here in Calgary!

Oxtail Stew

serves 6- 8 with plenty of leftovers


  • 2.3kg (aprox 5lb) of oxtail cut into chunks.  This was 2 large oxtails – get the butcher to cut them up for you
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions – peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots – peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 turnips – peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks of celery – cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 1 796ml (28floz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 4-5 cups of bone broth/stock
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F.  Place the cut up oxtail on a large rimmed baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until browned.  This step is entirely optional, but does improve the flavour and colour of the stew.

roasted oxtail

roasted oxtail

Transfer the oxtails to the slow cooker along with the vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and enough bone broth to just cover the contents.

Cook on low for 8 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bones.

Remove the bones from the stew, allow them to cool until you are able to handle them, and pull off any meat. Return the meat to the stew and discard the bones.  Mix the tapioca flour with a little water and stir into the stew  and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes until thickened.


I serve this stew with a big pile of sauteed greens and some mashed root vegetables.

This recipe makes enough for dinner and then plenty of leftovers that can be reheated for lunch the next day.


In some ways, it is even better for being kept overnight in the fridge.



Elk Osso Bucco

First of all, I apologize for not posting for a while….  life got a little crazy round here in Salixisme-land…

Being a massage therapist, I have to do a certain amount of “continuing education” (ie training courses).  Over the last weekend, this was what I was doing.

I did a fire-cupping course on both Saturday and Sunday and now I can offer cupping-massages, or even just use the cupping as part of my normal massages (it is fantastic for trigger-point release). It was a fun weekend…  nothing like playing with fire!

In addition to this, it was our wedding anniversary.  So on Saturday evening, we visited Charcut in downtown Calgary (more on that in another post).  It was a wonderful meal and I ate far too much!  And C had her first ever parade with the Roundup band on Saturday as well.  She was performing at the Santa-claus parade in Fort Mcleod.


Yesterday I was at work, and considering all the snow that Calgary has been having over the last 2 days, it was a long day.  And on my way home, I experienced the scariest bus ride of my life!  There was so much snow and the roads had not been cleared and there were buses sliding all over the place, loads of accidents and buses getting stuck everywhere…  And the traffic was really slow due to the road-conditions, so my normal 45 minute commute took over 2 hours.  NOT FUN!  By the time I finally got home, I was bitterly cold and I was not in the mood to write a post at all.  All  wanted to do was to collapse in a hot bath with a glass of wine!

Anyhow, back to the recipe:

I love elk meat, and being a lean, wild meat, it is perfectly Paleo.  We don’t eat a lot of it, but when we get the chance to go to the Calgary Farmers Market, we always make sure to visit the Wapiti Ways stand and buy some elk (usually stew meat, liver and hearts).  The last time we were there, he pointed out some sliced elk shanks, and mentioned that they would be perfect for long, slow cooking (most elk is so lean that it needs to be cooked quickly or it becomes tough and inedible).

As soon as I saw the elk shanks, I was thinking “Osso Bucco”…  and that is what I made with this wonderful meat.

This recipe contains tomatoes which are an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Elk Osso Bucco

serves 6


  • 6 thick slices of elk shank (mine were around 1″ thick), bone in
  • coconut oil to sautee
  • 4 rashers of bacon – chopped (we use pastured bacon that we get from Spraggs Meat Shop)
  • 2 onions – peeled and chopped
  • 4 carrots – peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery – chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 cloves of garlic – crushed
  • 4 tomatoes – diced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro – diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley – diced
  • olive oil

First of all you need to sear the elk in a hot pan with a little coconut oil added.  Cook for 1 minute per side until golden brown.  Remove the elk and place it to one side.

Add the chopped bacon to the pan and cook over a medium heat until the fat runs and the bacon is starting to crip.  Add the onion and 2 cloves of garlic and cook over a gentle heat until the onion is translucent.  Add in the carrots and celery, and then add the thyme, bay leaf, lemon juice and pour in the entire bottle of red wine.  Add the tomatoes and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender and the wine is reduced by at least half.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Nestle the elk shanks on top of the veggies and cook, covered, over a low heat for 1½ – 2 hours until the elk is tender but not falling apart.  Turn or baste the elk every  ½ hour.

While the elk is cooking, place the cilantro, parsley and 4 cloves of garlic in a food processor along with the lemon zest and a glug of olive oil.  Pulse until coarsely chopped to make a gremolata.

Serve the elk with mashed vegetables (I used mashed rutabaga) and greens and spoon over the gravy and some of the veggies.


Sprinkle the gremolata over and serve at once.


Just look at that wonderful bone marrow in there!


When I scooped it out and ate it, it was rich, creamy and delicious!  And the elk shanks themselves were perfectly cooked and very tasty.