Instant Pot Oxtail Stew is one of my favorite comfort meals any time of year. It’s a cinch to throw together in a pressure cooker and this Whole30-friendly ragu tastes amazing on zoodles, cauliflower rice, or paired with a green salad.

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Oxtail Stew on a bed of zucchini noodles.

Instant Pot Oxtail Stew is one of my favorite comfort meals any time of year. I make it whenever I can snag oxtails from the butcher ’cause it’s a cinch to throw this dish together in a pressure cooker. Plus, my Whole30-friendly oxtail ragu tastes amazing on zoodles, cauliflower rice, or just paired with a ginormous green salad. (And yes, you can even eat it on rice or pasta if you’re only part-time Paleo.)

Growing up in a Chinese-American household, I’ve never been fazed by weird chewy bits of meat at the dinner table. Seeing the heads on cooked whole fish or chicken was a regular occurrence in my house. In fact, these foods—while “gross” to some—are what I consider comfort food. In particular, I have a preference for oxtails because the meat is meltingly tender. It takes a little persistence and patience to get to all the goodness tucked in the nooks and crannies—and to me, that’s a good thing. If you’re a little squeamish about eating nose-to-tail, you may not be ready for this jelly. But as I do with my own kids, I encourage you to be brave in all things, and grab some oxtails the next time you spy them in the butcher case!

Time to make Instant Pot Oxtail Stew!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Cooking Equipment:

Method:

Turn on the broiler and set the oven rack 6 inches from the heating element. Place oxtails in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt. 

A bowl filled with oxtails is seasoned with a tablespoon of Magic Mushroom Powder.

Toss well and and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

The oxtails are tossed by hand and then placed in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Pop the oxtails under the broiler.

A baking sheet with seasoned oxtails is placed in the oven.

Broil for about 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Alternatively, you can brown the meat in batches in the Instant Pot on the “Sauté” function, but it’ll be tedious and messy.

Broiled oxtails being flipped with a pair of tongs to brown evenly.

While the oxtails are browning under the broiler, grab your Instant Pot and turn on the “Sauté” function. When the metal insert is hot, add the ghee or fat of choice. Toss in the sliced onions and carrots…

Chopped carrots and onions are added to an open Instant Pot.

…and cook until the onions are softened.

A closeup of diced carrots and sliced onions being sautéed in an open Instant Pot.

Sprinkle on some additional Magic Mushroom Powder or kosher salt. Toss in the smashed garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

Smashed cloves of garlic are added to carrots and onions sautéing in an Instant Pot.

Grab the browned oxtails off the pan…

Broiled oxtails are shown on a rimmed baking sheet.

…and nestle them into the vegetables. Pour in any accumulated juices from the pan.

Browned oxtails are added to an open Instant Pot and the extra oxtail cooking liquid is added as well.

Remember not to fill your pressure cooker more than 2/3rds full!

An overhead shot of Instant Pot Oxtail Stew in an open Instant Pot before it is programmed to cook under high pressure.

Pour the marinara sauce, fish sauce, and aged balsamic vinegar onto the meat. Stir well, making sure the liquid reaches the bottom of the pot.

Marinara is poured into the Instant Pot and mixed in with the oxtails.

Lock on the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 45 minutes.

An Instant Pot Ultra display is pictured that is being programmed to cook for 45 minutes under high pressure.

When the oxtails are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally. If you’re impatient, you can release the pressure manually after 30 minutes has elapsed.

Overhead shot of Instant Pot Oxtail Stew in an open Instant Pot.

The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, Magic Mushroom Powder, and/or balsamic vinegar if needed.

Michelle Tam is seasoning Instant Pot Oxtail Stew with salt and pepper.

I love serving the oxtails directly on raw spiralized zucchini (a.k.a. zoodles) because the hot sauce cooks the zucchini without making them super watery and soft.

Zucchini spiralized into noodles and a large spoon is spooning Instant Pot Oxtail Stew onto zucchini noodles.

Voilà!

A final closeup of Instant Pot Oxtail Stew over zucchini noodles.

Love to meal prep? Good, ’cause this stew freezes and reheats well.

You can eat the oxtail stew right away, but I like to store the oxtails in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to meld. If desired, you can easily remove the layer of fat on top once the stew’s chilled. Simply reheat the stew in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes under high pressure, and release the pressure manually. Give it a stir, and plate it up!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Instant Pot Oxtail Stew

4.85 from 13 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
I make this comforting dish whenever oxtails from the butcher ’cause it’s a cinch to throw this dish together in an Instant Pot. Plus, my Whole30-friendly oxtail ragu tastes amazing on zoodles, cauliflower rice, or just paired with a ginormous green salad.

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Turn on the broiler and set the oven rack 6 inches from the heating element. Place oxtails in a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt. 
  • Toss well and and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Pop the oxtails under the broiler. Broil for about 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Alternatively, you can brown the meat in batches in the Instant Pot on the “Sauté” function, but it’ll be tedious and messy.
  • While the oxtails are browning under the broiler, grab your Instant Pot and turn on the “Sauté” function. When the metal insert is hot, add the ghee or fat of choice. Toss in the sliced onions and carrots and cook until the onions are softened.
  • Sprinkle on some additional Magic Mushroom Powder or kosher salt. Toss in the smashed garlic, and stir for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Grab the browned oxtails off the pan, and nestle them into the vegetables. Pour in any accumulated juices from the pan. Remember not to fill your pressure cooker more than 2/3rds full!
  • Pour the marinara sauce, fish sauce, and aged balsamic vinegar onto the meat. Stir well, making sure the liquid reaches the bottom of the pot.
  • Lock on the lid and program the Instant Pot to cook under high pressure for 45 minutes.
  • When the oxtails are done cooking, let the pressure release naturally. If you’re impatient, you can release the pressure manually after 30 minutes has elapsed.
  • The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, Magic Mushroom Powder, and/or balsamic vinegar if needed.
  • I love serving the oxtails directly on raw spiralized zucchini (a.k.a. zoodles) because the hot sauce cooks the zucchini without making them super watery and soft.

Notes

  • Love to meal prep? Good, ’cause this stew freezes and reheats well. You can eat the oxtail stew right away, but I like to store the oxtails in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to meld. If desired, you can easily remove the layer of fat on top once the stew’s chilled. Simply reheat the stew in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes under high pressure, and release the pressure manually. Give it a stir, and plate it up!
  • Wanna make this dish is a slow cooker? Broil the oxtails as directed and sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in a skillet. Once oxtails are browned and the veggies are softened, add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 767kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 89g | Fat: 40g | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is soooo incredibly good, even without the magic mushroom powder. However, I struggle with getting my instapot to not give me a burn message when I make it. Help! This is my 2nd time trying recipe and I don’t know what to do…

    1. The tomato is normally what can trigger the burn message so I don’t mix it in. Also, you can stir in about 1/4 cup of or broth or water to the bottom of the pot to try to prevent the burn message.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the easiest oxtail recipe I’ve come across. And the flavors are sooo good!! I’ll definitely be adding this into our rotation of meals we constantly make.