Birria-inspired oxtail tacos

Birria-inspired oxtail tacos

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 20 minutes
  • 45 minutes
  • Woolworths Terra del Capo Sangiovese

“The carrot pickle (above) is an excellent pairing with this dish, perfectly balancing out the rich, cheesy tacos. The oxtail filling is easily frozen, which will save time when your next craving strikes.”- Clement Pedro


  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced, plus extra for serving
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 t smoked chilli flakes
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 6 Woolworths chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 kg leftover oxtail, shredded
  • 6 white tortilla wraps
  • 350 g mozzarella, grated
  • 1 green jalapeño, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, bay leaves, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are soft and slightly caramelised, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

2. Add the cumin and oregano and cook for a minute, then add the tomato paste, chipotle peppers, some of adobo sauce and the sugar and stir. Add the water.

3. Bring to a simmer, then allow to reduce for 15 minutes. Remove 2 cups and place in a smaller saucepan. Add the shredded oxtail to the remaining sauce and heat through for 15 minutes.

4. Heat a nonstick pan over a medium heat. Dip a tortilla in the reserved sauce, then place it in the pan. Add some of the oxtail mixture and mozzarella. Fold the tortilla over to form a semi-circle, then cook until the cheese has melted. Repeat with the remaining wraps.

5. If the tacos have cooled too much, place them in the oven at 200°C to reheat.

6. Reheat the remaining reserved sauce, remove from the heat and add the remaining onion and jalapeño. Serve the tacos with the sauce and a squeeze of lime.

This was made with leftover from Clem's triple-cooked oxtail. Find the recipe here. 

Find more Christmas recipes here. 

Photographs: Jan Ras
Production: Abigail Donnelly and Clement Pedro
Food assistant: Ellah Maepa

Clement Pedro Recipe by: Clement Pedro
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Clement Pedro strikes a balance between rib-sticking fare you can really get stuck into and experimental recipes that take accessible ingredients to next-level status. Clem can do pretty much anything – and so can you with his recipes.

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