Instant Pot Oxtail Stew

People don’t talk about oxtail stew these days, but it’s a true Primal-worthy classic. With an arguably richer taste than beef and more succulent feel when cooked for stew or soup, oxtail might just become a new favorite. But the real difference (and reason behind the appealing stewed texture) is the ample connective tissue—an incredible source of collagen for the benefit of skin, hair, joint health, performance and more. (Since we used bone broth here in lieu of water or regular stock, this recipe is one of the best you can make for collagen content.) You’ll enjoy warming up with this gelatinous, flavorful and hearty dish on a late winter night. And you might consider making an extra batch: it tastes even better the next day.

Time In the Kitchen: 25 minutes (plus cook time)

Servings: 4


  • 2 pounds grass-fed oxtail
  • 1 1/4 cup beef bone broth
  • 1/4 cup Primal Kitchen® Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes (about 6), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large onion, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 slices nitrate-free bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Heat Instant Pot on Saute and crisp chopped bacon. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Season oxtail and sear on all sides in bacon fat (3 min per side).

Add in other ingredients and cook 45 minutes on Manual High (Sealed). Let vent 15 minutes.

For slow cooker: cook bacon and sear oxtail in separate pan. Then cook all ingredients in slow cooker on low for 8 hours.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 719 
  • Net Carbs: 24.6 grams
  • Fat: 36 grams
  • Protein: 67 grams
TAGS:  collagen, recipes

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13 thoughts on “Instant Pot Oxtail Stew”

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  1. Oxtail is a family favorite: so rich and delicious! Like short ribs, they used to be very affordable but now they’re not. But they’re definitely worth it.

    BTW, what’s the point to specifying nitrate-free bacon? All of the so-called uncured bacon is really cured using celery powder and isn’t nitrate-free. Haven’t we established that nitrates are common in vegetables not something to fear?

    1. We’ve established that nitrates should come from plants, not chemical plants.

  2. I love oxtail stew! Looking forward to making this in the Instapot.

  3. Nice recipe, and I could use it for my new Instant Pot, that I’m just getting used to. But why the carrot and potato? Tradition? I just made a short rib version of this with celeriac, turnips, bacon and a touch of sauerkraut for tartness. The smell is unbelievably good. Stove top though. I haven’t decided that I trust the collagen to get out of the meat in the instant pot. What’s your take on that?

    1. I’ve used my instant pot to make bone broth a few times, and each time it turned into jello in the fridge. I’d say it works rather well at extracting collagen.

  4. Once upon a time, shanks, oxtails, hearts, feet, and other “trimmings” were cheap bits that could produce delicious, nutrient-rich food, if you knew how to prepare them. Now, in my state (Connecticut), there are no slaughterhouses, so meat animals are trucked out to other locations for slaughter, and these “trimmings” are boxed up and frozen in giant crates, and not easily available. This makes me sad!!
    I love oxtails, but I have a hard time paying the new, high prices per pound. They are, after all, mostly bone.
    However, the fat and cartilage of braised oxtails produces a lovely, rich texture, and deep flavor. I would, however, brown them before putting them into an Insta-Pot or any crock pot, take the fat that sizzled off them, and use it to saute carrots, onions, and celery, add herbs and maybe potatoes (unless you are keto), and THEN put it into the pot for slow-cooking with some wine and tomato paste, adding enough water to almost cover.
    Oh, and WHY WOULD YOU ADD BACON to something that is already so rich? Gilding the lily!! There is plenty of fat and flavor in oxtails already.

  5. Living in the country, big family, not a lot of money = eating soups with bones and bits of meat. My mom used to ask for bones if she got meat, the butcher would just give her some. Apparently he thought it was for our dog….. when he found out that she made soup with them he started charging for them, eye roll. I’m going to get me some of these for my next version of Insta Pot soup of some sort.

  6. I make one very similar to this. Add carrot, onions, celery and garlic for a mirepoix. Add the bone broth and some tomato paste. Mix it all together into a homogeneous mixture. Then add the oxtail. After cooking (whether instant pot or crockpot), strain the vegetables out and reduce the sauce til it can coat a spoon. I like to add dried mushrooms into the reduction. It re hydrates them while reducing the sauce

    1. Don’t forget the bay leaves and sprigs of rosemary. A splash of wine and some ACV are great additions too!

  7. I love oxtail but I 2nd the above comments, consider it’s cost and that of short ribs; and off-course marrow bones.

  8. I’m sorry, but “bite-sized” pieces of potato and carrots will be utter mush after 45 min on high manual in an instant pot. Been there, done that. (even whole potatoes after that amount of time will not fare well) The oxtails for sure, but I’d add the veggies and starches later unless, like the poster who mentioned a mirepoix, you plan on using it for flavor and/or straining it out. Just my 2 cents….