In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

The Ultimate Oxtail Stew.

I became a fan of oxtails after the prices sky-rocketed.. yea my luck. Back when I first moved to Canada, the butchers would practically beg customers to take oxtails off their counter. That’s definitely not the case today. The odd time it comes on sale it’s usually around $3.50 / lb, but the quality is not the best. Loaded with fat and usually from aged animals (difficult to cook tender), you’re stuck with having to trim it all off so your finished dish is not laden with grease. So it makes more sense to just pay the typical $5+ a pound for the good stuff if you want your finished dish to really sparkle.

You’ll Need…

2 lbs oxtail
3 large potatoes
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 carrot
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust accordingly)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 stalks celery
3 scallions
5 sprigs fresh thyme
7 allspice berries (pimento berries)
5-6 cups of water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
pinch brown sugar

Note: You can add more vegetables if you really want to stretch this dish for more people. Adjust the salt to your liking if you do add more ingredients. If doing this dish gluten free please go through the list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs (especially the soy sauce).

Wash and dry the pieces of oxtail (ask your butcher to cut them into pieces for you as the bones can be very HARD), then heat the oil in a deep pan on med/high heat and brown the pieces of oxtail. Takes about 10 minutes or so.

Remove the now browned pieces of oxtail from the pot, turn the heat down to low and add the onion, garlic and celery (diced) and allow to cook gently for 3 minutes. Then add the pimento berries and black pepper and give it a good stir, followed by the tomato paste. Allow the tomato paste to cook for a minute or so to allow the natural sugars in the tomato to caramelize a bit. The tomato paste will add a lovely acidic twist to the dish and help us develop a wonderful gravy.

Add the pieces of oxtail back to the pot and all the other ingredients except the carrots and potatoes. Turn the heat up, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let it cook with the lid on for about 2 hours.Remember to stir every 20 minutes or so and skim off any frothy residue at the top of the pot. The all spice (pimento berries) will add a lovely warm and homely feel to this stew and quite honestly a key ingredient.

You’ll notice in the picture above that I left the scotch bonnet pepper whole as I want the flavor from it but not the ray heat. At the end of cooking (try not to break it) you can fish the pepper out and discard (or give it to anyone who love HEAT).  If you find that your oxtail is not tender after the 2 hrs of braising, add a bit more water and let it cook for another 30 minutes or so. Then add the chopped carrot and potatoes (try to leave the potato in big pieces so it does not dissolve when cooked), bring to a boil (turn up the heat), then reduce to a rolling boil and cook for about 30 minutes or until the potato and carrot are tender.

Here’s where you’ll personalize the dish (remember to take out the scotch bonnet pepper) by adjusting the salt to your liking and getting the gravy to the consistency you like. When you turn off the stove you can top with some finely chopped parsley for a nice punch of color.

The first taste and you’ll know why I dubbed this the ultimate oxtail stew. With tender pieces of oxtails, in the perfect Caribbean influenced gravy and the heartiness from the carrot and potato chunks will hit the spot on those cold winter nights (in my case). An excellent recipe to replace soup-Saturday’s on the islands.. be sure to add more vegetables and I’m sure some eddoes, green bananas and yam would be an excellent addition.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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3.51star1star1star1stargray Based on 36 Review(s)


  1. Peter Beckles
    September 15, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    I did it a la Caribbean Pot stewed beef. These were the beefiest oxtails I’ve ever seen and the method was appropriate. The meat was tender, tasty and “falling off the bone”. It came out well.

  2. Peter Beckles
    September 8, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    I’ll do it a la stewed beef and let you know by 9/11/17

  3. Peter Beckles
    September 8, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Can the oxtail be browned with burnt sugar as for the stewed beef?

    In fact, can the oxtail be seasoned and cooked as in your stewed beef recipe?

    • admin
      September 11, 2017 / 7:01 am

      most definitely. I think there’s a version of oxtails like that on here – very old recipe

  4. Fred
    August 10, 2017 / 11:18 am

    I love this recipe and have made it several times. One time my wife was in the mood for pasta, so she omitted the potatoes, shredded up the meat after it was done cooking, and served it over tagliatelle – made for a very interesting Bolognese sauce!

  5. Jacki
    March 10, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    I sell plates in my neighborhood and made this recipe today. I had 4 lbs of oxtail and I sold out in the first 10 mins. Absolutely amazing.

  6. Vera
    August 18, 2015 / 6:45 am

    This was excellent, I added a bunch of finely chopped cilantro and yam instead of potatoes. Cheers Chris, an superd receipe.

  7. Pakmann2k
    April 12, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    I am slowly making my way through all of your recipes and love em all! This is my target for the afternoon. Will report back when finished. Can’t wait. You rock man!

    -AzJerk (coming soon)

  8. susan
    March 28, 2015 / 7:21 am

    this looks lovely will be trying this out thank you

  9. Dread
    March 2, 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Sounds perfect!!! Trying it now…can’t wait for the final product. I’ve been looking for a recipe site for Caribbean dishes and a coworker recently put me on to Caribbeanpot… u now have a loyal follower!!!

  10. Derrick
    February 28, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    Love it! I make Ox Tails all of the time, but I make one substitution. Instead of water, I use beef stock which you’re essentially making by using water. I guess I’m just a stock guy lol.

  11. Aseanboricua
    December 8, 2014 / 3:35 am

    I love your recipes. Especially like the pictures.

  12. Tina harriett
    November 21, 2014 / 5:23 am

    Trying this tonight….looking forward to it….

  13. October 29, 2014 / 6:04 pm

    Pew are going to carribbean pot.

  14. October 29, 2014 / 2:02 pm

    We are going to carribbeanpot.

  15. October 29, 2014 / 2:01 pm

    We are going to carribean pot.

  16. Darlene
    October 29, 2014 / 2:37 am

    Chirs boy ..this was darn gooud!!!! Thank u!

  17. Maria
    May 25, 2014 / 9:05 am

    Chris I love your recipes and my daughter s now a great cook as well,
    Thankyou so Much.

  18. Josie
    February 28, 2014 / 10:01 am

    Chris keep the wonderful Caribbean recipes coming, you’ve taught me how to cook, and for that I am grateful!

  19. Tony
    December 25, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    Made this for the first time and the family loved it.

  20. BajanSteve
    December 10, 2013 / 3:31 pm

    Chris…I think it is about time that you had a spot on the Food Channel.
    Thanks for the great foods.

  21. November 3, 2013 / 8:50 pm

    Hey Chris Mon:

    The Oxtail stew was really wicked! I used a pressure cooker and stewed it for about four hours. I also ommitted the tomato paste because I personally don’t care for tomato paste unless I’m making some kind of pasta. I also didn’t have any carrots so I used sweet potatoes instead. It was very good. Thank you for your willingness to share such awesome recipes.

    Much Love
    Chocolate Sundee

  22. Sandy
    November 2, 2013 / 8:16 am

    Followed this recipe to a tee. Very disappointed. Not much flavour. Very bland. Will try and tweak it next time.

    • Bulls
      December 6, 2013 / 4:25 am

      People like you make me laugh. If you simply taste and season as your cooking it wouldn’t taste bland

  23. Patrick
    November 2, 2013 / 6:38 am


    Thanks for your postings, they reconnect me back to my roots. I am going to make this today. Heading to Lexington Market in Baltimore, Maryland, USA to get some “fresh oxtails”.

    I will try ya slight variation though, I will leave out de potatoes and carrots. Then I will serve it over some rice. True Trini style.

    By the way, Christmas is coming. Will we see a black cake recipe?


  24. Terri
    October 24, 2013 / 2:52 pm

    my son and wife are going to love this dish, think I will cook it and surprise them, thanks for all the great recipes

  25. October 20, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    Hi Chris, I follow you every day on your website, must say I enjoy enjoy reading and following your receipts. thanks for keeping me up to date. its hard here where I live to get a lot of the things I need. but on the occasion I go into Vancouver, I visit the Chinese grocery and get what I can, keep up the good works. all the best Anne

  26. Valerie
    October 14, 2013 / 12:24 am

    i feel like i can taste the finished product, yummy

  27. priscila
    October 10, 2013 / 11:58 pm


  28. joyce
    October 10, 2013 / 7:12 pm

    One of my favorites, Ox tail…. When I was a little girl my great grandmother made oxtail soup, delicious. When I was teenager my second family (Whom lived across the street from me, opened the first West Indian restaurant in Boston Ma. Lucky for me, I worked in the restaurant off and on for many years. Aunt Pearl delivered the most scrumptious Jamaican meals ever. I followed your recipe and YES, perfection.
    Thanks… RSIP Aunt Pearl

  29. Marlene
    October 9, 2013 / 6:26 pm

    I either put my oxtail to cook in the oven at 325 or Put it in a slower cooker and it is excellent

  30. Sam
    October 7, 2013 / 6:17 am

    TTWWWIIOOUUPP (sucking my teeth) took you long enough LOL

  31. aj nelson
    October 6, 2013 / 5:00 am


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