Oxtail in Guinness with chickpeas and spinach

December 9, 2019 (Last Updated: March 2, 2020)
Oxtail in Guinness with chickpeas and spinach

You cannot go wrong with oxtail and this recipe is proof!

Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube

Photograph by Dylan Swart

Oxtail in Guinness with chickpeas and spinach

Serves: 4
Total Time: 3 hrs 15 mins


  • 1,3 – 1,4kg oxtail
  • 50g cake flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 500ml (2 cups) Guinness
  • 1,5L (6 cups) beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme + extra, to garnish
  • 300g baby carrots, washed and trimmed
  • 250g small portabellini mushrooms, cleaned
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • big pinch cayenne pepper
  • 80g baby spinach



Toss the oxtail in the flour. Shake off excess flour and season well. Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over high heat in a heavy-based stovetop casserole dish (with a lid for later use). Brown the meat on all sides, 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from casserole dish and set aside.


Using the same casserole dish, heat the remaining olive oil on low heat. Fry the onion for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, increase the heat to medium and add the oxtail with any meat juices, beer, stock, bay leaves and thyme. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.


Add the carrots, mushrooms and celery, adjust seasoning and cook until the oxtail is tender, for a further 30 minutes or so. Add a splash of water if needed.


For the chickpeas and spinach, heat the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the cayenne pepper and spinach. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste and serve with the oxtail, garnished with the extra fresh thyme sprigs.

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