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Delicious bowl of risotto Milanese and fall of the bone tender oxtail stew.
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5 from 13 votes

Pressure Cooker Oxtail Stew [Italian Style + VIDEO]

Fall off the bone tender Pressure Cooker Oxtail Stew is the world’s easiest Italian comfort food. Beef oxtail osso buco is seared, braised in a red wine tomato sauce in the Instant Pot and topped in gremolata.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Mains
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8
Calories: 490kcal
Author: HWC Magazine


  • Pressure cooker
  • Butcher's twine or tooth floss


Pressure cooke Oxtail Stew

  • 3-4 pounds oxtails can also use beef shank or veal shank
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 whole onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 whole carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 14 oz tomatoes canned crushed or fresh
  • ¾ cup red wine dry - we used a cabernet sauvignon
  • ¾ cup beef broth use gluten free if Celiac or beef bone broth
  • 2 whole bay leaves dry or fresh
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs we used fresh rosemary and thyme or can use 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.

Citrus Gremolata

  • ½ cup parsley chopped fresh
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest or zest of one lemon
  • 1 clove garlic grated


  • Have your butcher cut it in thick 3-4-inch segments. Trim away any extra fat you can. Be careful and hold the oxtail with a towel and with a sharp knife cut down. Leave some fat on as this is where the flavor comes from and it is difficult to remove all.
  • Dry your oxtails well with a paper towel. Make sure your oxtails come to room temperature for about 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking to allow them to cook evenly.
  • Do NOT tie your beef oxtail BEFORE your sear and brown as the ties will just come off during the cooking process. You will wait until after you sear your beef oxtails to wrap in butcher’s twine. When the oxtails are browning, they will start to shrink a little bit as the fat cooks off. That is why you need to wait. 
  • Season the oxtail well with salt and pepper on both sides. Set the pressure cooker on the high sauté setting. Add olive oil to the pressure cooker. Sear and brown the beef oxtail in your instant pot (pressure cooker). Use the sauté function on high and brown on all side or about 2-3 minutes on each side. Do NOT overcrowd your pressure cooker. Cook in batches. Remove your browned oxtail from the pressure cooker. There is no need to flour it first. As an extra bonus, this keeps this pressure cooker oxtail stew recipe gluten-free and low in carbs.
  • To prevent the meat from falling off the bone, tie up the sautéed oxtail in butcher’s twine. Just once around and tied in a knot and you are good to go. You can also use tooth floss. It’s probably best to use a plain floss as spearmint or fruity tutti is not the best flavor addition to this recipe. (Smiling)
  • Sauté the chopped onion, carrot and celery (soffritto) and garlic until translucent in the instant pot.
  • Add, wine to glaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pressure cooker to get all those delicious bits off the bottom of the pressure cooker. Then add tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves and season to taste. Place the browned oxtail back into the pressure cooker with the delicious tomato wine broth. Add fresh or dried herbs on top. We used fresh rosemary and thyme but can also use 1 teaspoon of dried mixed Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, etc).
  • Seal the lid to your pressure cooker, make sure the vent is off and sealed and set to high pressure cook for 45 minutes. Once time is up, allow the pressure cooker to do a natural release for 15 minutes and then can vent and release steam.

Make Citrus Gremolata

  • In a small bowl mix chopped parsley, lemon zest and grated garlic. Set aside. Whilst your Pressure cooker oxtail stew is cooking, you can make a risotto Milanese, polenta, mashed potatoes or even egg noodles to serve with it for the ultimateItalian comfort dish.
  • Remove the cooked beef oxtail from the pressure cooker. Remove the butcher’s twine and set aside tented to aluminum foil to keep warm.
  • Set your pressure cooker to sauté setting for about 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half and is thick and rich. There is no need to be putting cornstarch in here to thicken. The natural gelatin rich oxtail provides a delicious natural sauce. Skim any excess fat with a spoon before serving.
  • Serve your delicious oxtail osso buco over Milanese risotto, polenta, mashed potatoes or even noodles. Garnish with lots of gremolata. Enjoy!



Osso buco is actually even better the next days as it allows time for the flavors to mingle. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Citrus Gremolata can only be stored for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator due to the chopped garlic. FYI chopped garlic that has been in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours and NOT in oil or anything to preserve it can cause botulism. Pitch gremolata if you do not use it within 24 hours or submerse it in oil and you can keep it for 3 days. (Okay, the nurse is now stepping down from her soap box.)
Oxtail, beef or veal shanks can all be used in this recipe. Beef shanks are the leg portion of the cattle.  Because they are such a used muscle, beef shanks are usually tougher than oxtail. If you want to use veal shank or beef oxtail, it is helpful to put your order into your butcher in advance as these items go quickly.
If you cannot find oxtail, beef or veal shanks a delicious substitution is a chuck roast recipe. You will need to cut your chuck roast into pieces and follow the directions about but skip the step for using butcher’s twine. Set the instant pot for 35 minutes on high “stew method” instead of pressure cook and natural release for 15 minutes. We also love to finish a beef stew in the oven at 425 degrees F or 218 degrees c for about 15 minutes to get it delicious browned on the top.
Stove top directions
You can also cook this recipe on the stove top, if you do not have a pressure cooker. However, you will need to increase the liquids in the recipe because some of those liquids will evaporate and reduce during the cooking process. 
2 cups of red wine
2 cups of beef broth
Use a large dutch oven pot to sear and brown the oxtails on the stove top. Saute the vegetables, add the tomatoes and wine and the rest of ingredients into your dutch oven. Heat up to a medium simmer and then reduce heat to a very low simmer. Place the seared oxtail back into the dutch oven and nestle into the sauce and then over a low simmer with cover on cook for about 3- 4 hours or until meat is so tender it falls off the bone.
Bushwick Tarentella Loop by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1300003
Artist: http://incompetech.com/
Bushwick Tarantella by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1300002
Artist: http://incompetech.com/


Serving: 1g | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1432IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 8mg