Have you ever wondered how to cook oxtail stew? Have I got the recipe for you! This traditional Egyptian oxtail stew recipe with okra puts the BAM in Bamia. Bamia, means okra in Arabic, and it can be made a few ways with or without meat. My favorite way to cook bamia is with oxtail.
This recipe is easy and difficult all at the same time- easy in terms of technique, but difficult because there are many steps. This is also not a great work week meal. I would say this is a great weekend meal, for when you want to make something exciting and different.
I have included some tips for speeding up this recipe (like using frozen Egyptian magic red sauce) in one of the sections below.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it's unique. All of the flavors come together into this savory tender stew that literally melts in your mouth!
Ingredients You'll Need
- Egyptian magic red sauce: Check out the Egyptian magic red sauce post for an in-depth explanation for making this homemade tomato sauce with onion. I always make this sauce in bulk and stick it in the freezer as a way of cutting down on my cooking time.
- Okra: Frozen or fresh okra is suitable. I use frozen okra in this recipe because the grocery store didn't have any good-looking fresh okra.
- Oxtail: I buy the oxtail already cut into 2" (5 cm) thick sections. Previously frozen oxtail is suitable.
- Spices: The oxtail is cooked with cardamom, onions, salt, and a bay leaf prior to making the stew. After the oxtail is cooked, the broth that is left over is so good.
Tips and Tricks
Make the Egyptian magic red sauce. Don't use canned tomato sauce, or take any shortcuts for this sauce. This sauce is the key.
Cook the oxtail prior to making the stew. Oxtail can be tough if not cooked long enough. The goal is to cook the oxtail almost completely before making the stew but not quite (the oxtail will get cooked further in the stew).
Squeeze some lime on the oxtail stew before going in the oven. The lime is the final ingredient that blends all of the flavors together.
Serve with a side of rice. I like to use my instant pot to make my rice while cooking this dish, so I don't have to worry about burning the rice.
How to Make Oxtail Stew Easily
I have a couple of tips to make this dish a bit easier:
- Use frozen Egyptian magic red sauce. This means that you would have already prepared this sauce ahead of time, either storing it in the fridge or freezer.
- Use the instant pot or a slow cooker to cook the oxtail. If using the instant pot, cook the oxtail on high for 45 minutes. If using a slow cooker, cook the oxtail on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours. The oxtail should just start becoming tender, but not fully tender.
- Make the oxtail and magic red sauce the day before. Assemble the stew the night you want to eat it.
- Use an instant pot to make the rice. Lebanese vermicelli rice goes great with this oxtail stew recipe.
Using the Oxtail Broth
While cooking the oxtail in water, cardamom, and salt, a very rich and tasty broth is in the making. My first choice for this broth is eating it as a soup. All that's needed is to squeeze a bit of lemon and check the salt. That's it!
Another option for the oxtail broth is to use it as the liquid for the rice. And lastly, the broth can be frozen for use in the future for another dish.