Smoked Oxtail Stew

Mix two parts Galloping Gourmet and one part Julia Child, simmer over years of tours with the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, and you’ve got Chef Rusty. One taste of his cooking and you’ll be coming back for more!

Rusty’s passion for flavor was inspired by his mother, who would serve her son homemade recipes, offering the aspiring young chef a nickel for each ingredient he could name. Soon, little “Rusty” was identifying the nuances of a wide variety of creations, sparking a lifelong interest in cooking. Enrolling in the Culinary Arts Institute of Louisiana, Hamlin received a two-year intense education in the fine art of cuisine — and his Cajun and Creole infused style began to take shape.

When Rusty met Zac Brown of the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, a mutual admiration was born between the two and the vision for the “Zac Brown Band Eat & Greets” began to take root. Chef Rusty now travels throughout the country with the multi-platinum recording artists, a customized kitchen on wheels affectionately named “Cookie” and several XLarge Big Green Eggs. “I think about food all the time … 24-7! Cooking on the EGG is an art form. I love to cook and I love music, so this is just a really cool situation!” Check out his story on page 18 of the Big Green Egg Lifestyle Magazine.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Rusty Hamlin.

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  • 3.5 lbs Oxtails
  • 4 stalks celery, medium chopped
  • 2 onions, medium chopped
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, medium chopped
  • 4 carrots, medium chopped
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper (to brown)
  • 6 tsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 tbs Creole seasoning
  • 1 tbs granulated garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh garlic
  • 3 tbs whole grain dijon mustard
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 x 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs pepper
  • Mesquite and cherry wood, soaked in water
  • Deep roaster foil pain (about 12" x 10" x 4")


Oil, salt, and pepper the oxtails; brown on the Big Green Egg with the cooking grid only. Let oxtails rest after browning.

Add the ConvEGGtor™ (legs up with cooking grid on top) to create convection and preheat Big Green Egg to 350°F/177°C.

Cut all vegetables. Mix stock, mustard, soy, ketchup, and tomatoes in separate bowl. Place all vegetables, herbs, tails, and flour in a bowl and toss. Place mixture in a deep roasting pan and add liquid. Place soaked wood on fire and smoke for 4 hours at 350°F/177°C. Halfway through, cover with foil and stop adding wood.

After 4 hours, check tails for tenderness.

Enjoy with your favorite starch addition … rice, potatoes, or pasta.

Serves 6

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