In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Jamaican Stewed Oxtail With Butter Beans.


Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, oxtail wasn’t as popular as it is today. There are several restaurants and roadside vendors doing excellent things with oxtails, especially in the capital. My first encounter with Jamaican style stewed oxtails came via my friend’s grandmother in Canada. Granny with her busted knives (from cutting oxtails to cook) was a boss in the kitchen and was always willing to let me watch.

You’ll Needโ€ฆ

4 lbs oxtail (trimmed)
1 lemon (juice)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon All-Purpose Seasoning
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon freeze dried garlic (or garlic powder)
1 tablespoon Caribbean Browning
1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon tomato concentrate paste
1 medium onion (diced)
5-7 sprigs thyme
4 large cloves garlic (smashed)
1 scotch bonnet pepper *
2 thick slices ginger
2 scallions (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
5 cups water
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
5-9 Pimento berries (allspice)
1 can Lima (butter) beans
2 tablespoon Parsley (chopped finely)

Important! I cut my Scotch Bonnet pepper but if you want flavor and not the raw Caribbean Sunshine (heat) feel free to float the pepper and NOT break it. You will get the lovely flavor from the oils of the skin. Discard without breaking after you’re done cooking.

Get your butcher to cut the oxtails for you as your kitchen knives will NOT be able to do so. You want them somewhat the same size pieces so they cook the same time. Wash the oxtail pieces (trim off as much of the fat you can and discard) with the juice of the lemon and cool water. Rinse and drain dry.

Lets season and I highly recommend that you give this at least 2 hours (overnight is the best) to marinate and soak in all the wonderful flavors we’re about to add. In a large bowl with the clean oxtail pieces, add the salt, black pepper, soy sauce, all-purpose seasoning, dried garlic, Caribbean browning and Worcestershire sauce (my thing). Mix well and allow to marinate.

Heat a heavy/deep pot on a medium heat and add the olive oil. We’ll brown the pieces of seasoned oxtails at this point. Basically 4-6 minutes, then remove and set aside. Do this in batches so you don’t crowd the pot.

With all the browning done and the pieces removed from the pot, turn the heat down to low (remove any excess oil, you need about a tablespoon left back), add the tomato paste (my thing) and cook for 2 -3 minutes, so the natural sweetness comes out

Here’s where you’ll add back the oxtail p[ieces to the pot, follwed by the scallion, thyme, onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and Caribbean Green Seasoning, stir well.

Turn up the heat to high and add the water so you bring it to a boil. As it comes to a boil, add the brown sugar and scrape the bottom of the pot to get all that flavor off the bottom of the pot. Toss in the allspice berries at this point as well.

It will take a few minutes to come to a boil. Then lid on and heat on LOW. We’ll slowly cook this until it’s fall-off-bones. Have the lid on the pot but slightly ajar so it can vent.

My oxtails took 2 hours and 45 minutes to be as tender as I like it. Here’s where you’ll add the canned beans (rinse with cool water first) and into the pot. Cook for 15 minutes so the beans absorb the flavors.. taste for salt and adjust accordingly NOTE! Depending on the age of the animal your meat came from, it can take longer to get tender. NO I do NOT like using a pressure cooker – but you can I guess.

Once the gravy is the cosistency you like, oxtails are tender and the salt is perfect, shut off the stove and top with the parsley.

  • remove the sprigs from the thyme and the pimento (all spice) berries and discard.

Like I did, you’ll find ways to personalize this recipe to your own liking, so be creative. I usually cook a huge batch of this and freeze what is not consumed at dinner. Then when I feel like having a comforting Caribbean meal, I simply thaw and reheat on a very low heat and enjoy.

My adopted Jamaican Granny would be proud.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and donโ€™t forget you can now get my cookbook โ€“ The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @ CaribbeanPot.com/CookBook/

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8 Comments

  1. Larry Edwards
    March 25, 2021 / 5:24 pm

    Jamaican oxtails has become my favorite food. l love them very much.
    However, l am challenged making any dish with more than six ingredients so l have relegated my life to eating oxtails at Jamaican restaurants because ingredients are to numerous. As a bachelor, over half of the ingredients needed in the oxtails can not be found anywhere in my home.

    • Paul Wilmer, Jr
      May 3, 2021 / 11:39 pm

      where do I find these great seasonings. for oxtails

  2. Toni
    February 15, 2021 / 6:03 pm

    Lovely

  3. Judy Cleghorn
    February 15, 2021 / 1:29 pm

    Love your recipes. My granddaughter will be going to university soon and the dishwasher will be a welcome gift.

  4. INA EMANUEL
    February 15, 2021 / 12:22 pm

    I don’t think I can do it. It looks so good though.

  5. Dionne Bunsie
    February 14, 2021 / 11:50 pm

    Awesome ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜˜

  6. Gregory Bennett
    February 14, 2021 / 9:44 am

    This is great!

  7. Joanna hejnar
    February 13, 2021 / 6:16 pm

    Beautiful ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜jo

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