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Oxtails Stewed in Pasta Sauce (Pressure Cooker) Recipe


Hearty oxtails are cooked up quickly in the pressure cooker along with leeks, carrots, black olives, wine, and tomato pasta sauce. The potatoes are riced with Parmesan cheese and served with the beef stew mixture on top.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks or coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 3-1/2 pounds meaty oxtails cut into approximately 2-inch lengths
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup oil-cured, pitted black olives
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 pounds Idaho or russet potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter (optional)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley


Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Cook the leeks over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the wine and stir well. Continue cooking until about 25 percent of it has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the oxtails, carrots, and olives and pour the pasta sauce on top. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes (if using). Do not stir. Pile the potatoes on top of the sauce.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 50 minutes. (If the oxtails are not sufficiently tender, return to high pressure for 5 or 10 minutes more.) Allow the pressure to come down naturally, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow excess steam to escape.

Transfer the potatoes from the cooker to a large serving platter or bowl. Pour the stew through a large strainer and degrease the sauce in a gravy separator. (Or refrigerate overnight and discard the congealed fat.) Discard any loose bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Return the degreased sauce, oxtails, and potatoes to the pot and reheat. Season with salt and pepper. When ready to serve, remove the potatoes and smash them coarsely with a ricer, adding olive oil (if using) and sprinkling with Parmesan as you go. Season the potatoes with salt, if needed. Set a mound of potatoes in the center of a serving platter or individual plates and surround with the oxtail meat and sauce. Garnish with basil and an extra sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: The Pressured Cook by Lorna Sass by Lorna Sass (William Morrow)
Reprinted with permission.

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