The oxtail recipe shared below is an authentic Jamaican recipe. This deeply flavoured oxtail dish starts with the oxtail intensely marinated in a variety of Jamaican spices then braised down in the tastiest savoury sauce. Oxtail stewed cooked in Jamaican spices and butterbean makes this recipe so mouthwatering.
Jamaican Style Oxtail
Jamaican style oxtail stew cooked with butterbean and flavoured with browning sauce, pimento (allspice), ginger, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper.
Firstly, the oxtail is sear on all sides before it’s put to cook. There are two methods Jamaicans use to enhance the brown colour of the oxtail, melted brown sugar in the pot before adding the oxtail or coating the oxtail with browning sauce before cooking. In the recipe below, I used both methods.
Depending on who is cooking, sometimes carrot and bell pepper are added. I only add bell pepper.
Cooking time can be up to 3 hours, but I pressure cook the oxtail to reduce the time.
How To Make Oxtail Tender
Oxtail takes a long time to cook and gets tender. It takes more than 2 hours of cooking before the oxtail softens.
My strategy is to pressure cook the oxtail for 30 minutes to reduce the number of hours it takes to cook.
However, if the oxtail is brown well, it can start to break apart during pressure cooking. The key is to brown the oxtail on all sides, don’t add too much water to the pressure cooker (just enough to cover the meat) and pressure for no more than 35 minutes.
With that said, the best way to make oxtail tender is to slow cook it on medium to slow heat for 2 to 3 hours.
What Goes In Jamaican Oxtail
Looks like a lot but this is why Jamaican oxtail stew taste so delicious.
- Oxtail: Get oxtail with very little fat on it.
- Butterbeans: Butterbean always goes in oxtail stew.
- Dry seasoning: I used all-purpose seasoning, but meat seasoning or oxtail seasoning will also do. For more flavour, I also use salt and a Maggi stock cube.
- Green seasoning: Onion, scallion, garlic, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, pimento (allspice) are a must in every Jamaican cooking, especially the scotch bonnet pepper and pimento.
- Sugar: The sugar is to help brown the oxtail but also add a hit of sweet taste.
- Browning: Is traditionally used in Jamaican cooking to darken the food.
- Ketchup: This is optional.
How To Cook Oxtail
- Clean: Clean the oxtail in water with lemon/lime and white vinegar.
- How to season oxtail: Add the salt and the dry seasoning. You can use either meat, oxtail or all-purpose seasoning. Add the scotch bonnet pepper, garlic, thyme and the browning. Marinate the oxtail for extra flavour.
- Brown the oxtail: You should brown the oxtail before cooking it. It
- Cooking the oxtail: I pressure cook the oxtail to save time on cooking because it can take over 2 hours to cook without pressure.
- Simmer: After pressure cooking, add all the other ingredients and more water if needed to the pot and cook until the water reduce and pepper softened.
Cleaning The Oxtail
What To Serve With Oxtail
Try your hands at the recipe below and let us know how you get on in the comment section.
Other Meat Recipes
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Authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe
- 2 lbs (907.18 g) Oxtail chopped into 2 to 3cm chunks
- 1 Cup (236.59 g) Butterbean
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) Oxtail or all-purpose seasoning
- 1 tsp Browning
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 ½ tbsp (1.5 tbsp) Dark brown sugar
- 1 Maggi stock cube
- 1.8 oz (51.03 g) Onion Sliced
- 2.5 oz (70.87 g) Bell pepper Sliced
- ½ Scotch bonnet pepper Seeds remove and finely chopped
- 2.1 oz (59.53 g) Tomato Diced
- 1.5 oz (42.52 g) Stalks scallion (green onion) Chopped
- 4 (3) Cloves garlic Crushed
- 5 (3) Sprig thyme
- 0.28 oz (7.94 g) Freshly grated ginger
- 7 Pimento barriers (allspice)
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 3 tbsp Cooking oil
- 1 Small lime To wash the oxtail
- 1 tbsp Vinegar To wash the oxtail
- Wash the oxtail in water with vinegar and lime juice. Drain away all the water, getting the meat as dry as possible.
- Season the oxtail with salt, oxtail/all-purpose seasoning, garlic, ginger, browning and scotch bonnet pepper. Mix the ingredients until the oxtail is completely coated with seasoning. If you like, leave to marinate for at least an hour.
- Add the cooking oil and the brown sugar to a pressure cooker pot on high heat.
- Make the oil hot and the sugar melt, then add the oxtail. Sear the meat so that all sides are brown.
- Add 2 ½ cups of water to the pressure cooker, close with the pressure cooker lid and cook at high pressure for 30-35 minutes.
- Make sure the pressure cooker cool off, then carefully remove the lid. Check that the meat is soft and falling off of the bone.
- Put to continue cooking on medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme, scallion, tomato, bell pepper, butterbean, ketchup and Maggi stock cube.
- Cover the pot with a normal pot cover and let it cook for another 30 minutes.
- Try getting oxtail that have very little fat on it. Too much fat on the oxtail makes the gravy fatty.
- You can use more are less scotch bonnet pepper if you like your oxtail stew more or less spicy