Umsila Wenkomo (Oxtail Stew)

By Drum Digital
14 March 2014

This is comfort on a plate.

Sis Xoli tells us how Josina Machel, the daughter of Graça and the late Samora Machel, says that whenever she eats this meal, she knows she’s home.

Preparation time: 10 min

Cooking time: 3 hours

Serves 10-12

You will need

3 kg oxtail, excess fat removed water to cover

5 ml (1 tsp) paprika

15 ml (1 tbsp) barbeque spice

5 medium carrots, sliced

225 g green beans, cut into 1 cm long pieces

6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

60 g (1 packet) creamy oxtail soup

salt and pepper to taste


1. Put the oxtail in a large pot and add just enough water to cover it. With the lid off, cook the meat for about 30 minutes until the water has evaporated. At this point, the meat will start to brown in the fat released by the oxtail. Turn the meat so that it browns on both sides.

2. Once the meat has browned on both sides, add the paprika, barbeque spice and three cups of water (enough to cover the browned meat) and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for about 2 hours, until the meat is soft.

3. Check the meat once in a while to make sure there is still enough liquid in the pot to cover it. Add more if necessary. Add the vegetables and the soup powder and cook until the vegetables are soft (about 30 minutes). Season to taste.

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