Japanese-Style Oxtails

I taught a grilling class called “Head-to-Tail with Tim Love” at the Austin Food & Wine Festival. We were grilling with hundreds of people, all with their own grills. I demonstrated recipes with the tail, specifically the oxtail, and it was a blast. I love Asian glazes like the one below, the flavors go well with most proteins and vegetables. I keep some in a jar in the fridge all year round.

Kyoto Barbecue Glazed Oxtails



  • 5 pounds oxtails
  • 2 quarts fresh beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • Bouquet sachet of parsley, 3 long slices of fresh ginger and 3 whole dried arbol chiles

Kyoto Barbecue Sauce

  • 3 cups sake
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1/2 cup crushed golden rock sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh Japanese dashi (it’s OK to use instant. I keep a small jar of it in the spice cabinet for emergencies)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger



Place the oil in a large Dutch oven over indirect high heat on the grill and brown the oxtails in batches.

Reserve to a platter, do not scorch the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetables and sachet, and sauté until onions are glassy and beginning to caramelize. Add the tomato and cook for 4 minutes or so.

Add the beer and reduce by half at a simmer. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, then add the oxtails back to the pot.

Cover and move pot to edge of the grill so that you can maintain a whisper of a simmer.

Cook for 2 hours. Reserve pot to a side table, crack lid, discard sachet and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove meat from pot with slotted spoon. Set aside. (The broth can be reduced/fortified and used as a basis for sauce, soup and stew.)

Make the Sauce

Reduce all ingredients at a bare simmer until mixture gets glazy. Don’t scorch.

To Finish

Crisp the oxtail on the grill over high direct heat, brushing with Kyoto barbecue sauce for glazing right before it comes off the grill. Season with togarashi (a Japanese seasoning mix) and sea salt.

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