Oxtail Osso Buco Japanese Style

Osso Buco is one of those meals where the meat is so soft and tender you can eat it with a spoon.  Although it’s traditionally made with veal shank, I make a Japanese version of it using oxtails along with mirin, soy and Japanese red wine.  I like to serve it over a nice traditional Milanese Risotto, cooked with beef tallow, saffron, nutmeg and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Osso Buco is traditionally an Italian dish made with veal shanks.  In Japan, veal shank is difficult to find and oxtail is much more popular.  This version of Osso Buco features oxtails which are first browned and then braised for 3 1/2-4 hours in Japanese flavorings.  The collagen in the oxtails, besides being healthy for skin and bones, releases over time and thickens the sauce naturally.

Oxtail, like short ribs and shank, are tough and fatty, which make them perfect for braising (or stewing)  – slow cooking over low heat for an extended period.  After cooking the meat is soft, tender and falling off the bone.

Osso Buco pairs well with mashed potatoes or white rice, but to really create a meal worth remembering, I recommend serving it over a nice Risotto.  Risotto Milanese goes perfect with it – the saffron, nutmeg and beef tallow used in preparing the risotto complements the beefy oxtails.

Neither Osso Buco or Risotto can be rushed, so plan on spending a few hours in the kitchen to put this dish together.  But rest assured, it will be worth the investment in time when you try it,

Oxtail Osso Buco Japanese Style

This dish features ox tails, but you can cook it using the traditional ingredient used in the Italian Dish, Veal Shank.  Short ribs with the bone in also make a good substitute.  Oxtails are tough and fatty and I recommend browning before braising.  After braising, be sure to drain off as much fat as you can (see notes, below).

As the dish simmers, be sure to check the pot often and not to let the sauce burn.  If it begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, lower the heat a bit and use a spatula to clean off the bottom of the pot while cooking.

Turn the oxtails at least once every thirty minutes and r]add water as needed to endure the oxtails remain submerged.

30 mins 4 hours Serves 3
PREP 30 mins
COOKING 4 hours
YIELD Serves 3


  • 1 Kg (2.2 lbs) Oxtails
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • ~5 cups water


  1. Chop the carrot and onion and grate the garlic and ginger.

  • Mix the salt, pepper and flour.  Coat the oxtail with the flour.

  • Preheat the cooking oil in a large frypan to medium high.  Add the oxtail and fry them on all sides until browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Spoon two TBSPs of oil out of the frypan and into another pot.  Sauté the onion, carrot, ginger and garlic over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes until the onion becomes soft and translucent.  Remove from heat.

  • Remove the onions and carrots from the pot and set aside.
  • Place the oxtails in the pot so they all sit against the bottom.  Add the soy sauce, wine, and mirin to the pot.  Pour in 2-3 cups of water until it just covers the oxtails.  Add the veggies back into the pot.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat and let boil for 2-3 minutes.

  • Turn the heat to medium low so the mixture is still boiling.  Mostly cover the pot with a lid leaving it partially uncovered so steam and escape.

  • Cook on medium low heat for 3 1/2-4 hours turning the oxtails every 30 minutes.  If the liquid boils out so the oxtails are not covered, add some water.  30 minutes before finished, stop adding water.

  • The oxtails are finished when the meat is tender and soft enough to fall off the bone.

  • Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to cool.
  • Serve over risotto, rice, or mashed potatoes.  Garnish with Italian parsley or mitsuba.


  • Ox tail cooks up to be very tender, and the sauce makes a terrific base for beef soups or stews, but Ox tail releases a great deal of fat as it cooks.  If you want to use the sauce, then spoon the fat off of the top.  I prefer to refrigerate the entire dish overnight before serving.  The fat separates and rises to the top.  The next day you can take a spoon and scoop off the fat and discard.  Reheat with the ox tails over a medium flame and add a cup of water.  Cook for thirty minutes over medium heat and the dish serve up perfectly without all the fat in the sauce.

Video Link…

  • The nutritional data shown below is before the fat is removed.

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