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JAMAICAN OXTAILS – SOFT, JUICY, AND MOUTHWATERING!

Last updated on November 2nd, 2021 at 12:36 pm

Jamaican oxtail is a favorite to make. The dish is full of hearty flavors and sits in a long braise resulting in meat that easily falls off the bone. 

JAMAICAN OXTAILS RECIPE

​​Jamaican oxtail is a simple recipe with big, bold flavors. It is made with hearty, wholesome ingredients by simmering and stewing oxtails with root vegetables, herbs, scotch bonnet pepper, and spices.

It results in perfectly cooked oxtails, incredibly juicy and tender that it falls apart and melts in your mouth. One bite will make all the time put into making this dish worth it with a big, bold flavor.

JAMAICAN OXTAILS TASTES SO DELICIOUS

Oxtail is seasoned with a mixture of allspice, paprika, minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcester sauce, soy sauce, and cooked alongside scallions, diced onions, and bell peppers. Each bite gives off super strong flavors and bursts of spice. 

This is probably my favorite way to eat oxtails. It requires gently braising the meat over slow heat. This process will not only soften the connective tissues of the meat but will also brown the meat nicely and give the stew an extra flavor boost. Oxtails definitely deserve more attention than they get! 

The flavor is hearty and delicious thanks to the spices and herbs, and the oxtails are succulent and melt-in-your-mouth good. But the real star of the show here are the OXTAILS

WHAT IS OXTAIL?

Oxtail is the tail of the beef cattle. The beef is very rich in gelatin and results in a luscious and juicy flavor. The cut of meat is super rich in gelatin, which is why it is typically slow-cooked or braised. The gelatin, along with the bones, produces an incredibly flavorful stock and broth. 

WHAT IS JAMAICAN OXTAIL?

Jamaican oxtails are tail portions of beef cattle cooked together with root vegetables, herbs, scotch bonnet pepper, and spices and stewed in their own fat until the meat is tender and succulent and literally falls off the bone. The meat is often served with rice and peas, with plantains. 

HOW TO MAKE JAMAICAN OXTAILS – EASY STEP BY STEP 

This oxtail stew is an uncomplicated one-pot recipe. It turns up in many different versions that slightly vary in spicing by different families. Here is how to make it:

  • Prep the meat: Cut the additional fat off the cut of meat using a knife, kitchen shears, or scissors. You’ll want to keep some fat on the meat, but not an excessive amount. Too much fat will leave everything very greasy. 
  • Wash: Once the oxtails are trimmed, I like to wash them using lemon, lime, and salt and rinse with water and vinegar until the water runs clear. This is optional but recommended. When all ready, pat the meat dry with a paper towel to catch the excess water. 
  • Season and marinade: In a bowl, add in all of the spices and sauces to create the marinade. Add in the scallions, diced onions, and bell peppers. Give everything a thorough mix to fully combine the ingredients. In order to achieve a flavorful result, give the meat enough time to marinate
  • Braising Time: When the meat is done marinating, heat a large pan with oil on the stove. When the oil is hot, add in the oxtail one piece at a time, making sure to braise each side for about 10 minutes. Flip to ensure beautifully caramelized browning and even cook. 
  • Additional items: Add in the additional veggies from the marinade and let cook for about 10 minutes. Cover the beef and leave the oxtail to braise for 2-3 hours or till the meat becomes tender.
  • Finishing it off: Just before the oxtail is ready, stir in the butter beans and let cook for about 5 minutes. 

WHAT DO I SERVE WITH JAMAICAN OXTAILS? 

The elevated dish is typically served with Jamaican rice and peas with plantains but can be served alongside pretty much any side. Try it with rice and beans, spaghetti, or couscous.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK OXTAILS ON THE STOVETOP? 

It takes about 2 to 3 hours, but the results will be well worth the wait.

HOW LONG SHOULD I MARINATE THE OXTAILS?

In order to achieve those wonderful and mouthwatering flavors, I recommend marinating the pieces of meat for 6 to 8 hours (overnight). If you are in a rush, the oxtail can be marinated for a minimum of a half-hour but will taste best if left in the marinade for maximum time. 

WHAT DOES OXTAIL TASTE LIKE?

Oxtail isn’t like your typical cut of steak. The elevated beef has such a powerful and rich flavor due to its higher fat and gelatin content. The bones in the middle of the cut of meat also add to the flavor of the dish, as the bone marrow is cooked off slowly and melts into the dish. 

ARE OXTAILS GOOD FOR YOU?

Yes! Oxtail is good for you. It’s a gelatin-rich meat and it’s also rich in protein and iron.

WHERE CAN I GET OXTAILS FOR A DECENT PRICE?

I prefer to shop for oxtail at the Mexican meat market. African or Caribbean markets are also good places to try. However, it is typically available in other specialty markets or a local grocery store. Shop around and make sure you are getting a solid price on the cut of meat. The cut tends to run on the pricer side, although it used to be very cheap meat before it gained popularity.

HOW TO STORE OXTAILS

If you decide not to cook the oxtail immediately, you can store it in the refrigerator for about three to five days or simply wrap it well and store it in the freezer for up to a year.

  1. Oxtails are fatty, which means more flavor. However, you still want to make sure the fat is trimmed off as much as possible so that your stew will not end up being too greasy.
  2. Jamaican oxtail uses habanero pepper which brings up the heat in the stew. If you are not a fan of spice, feel free to reduce the quantity of habanero.
  3. It’s best not to skip any of the ingredients listed in this recipe. However, if you choose to skip any, please don’t skip allspice!
  4. I love to use chicken bouillon to give the stew a little oomph but if you don’t have that, you can also use all purpose seasoning.
  5. It’s best to make more than you need for this recipe because you can keep any leftover in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and it also freezes very well. Just store in freezer-safe containers with a tight-fitting lid and use as needed.
MORE JAMAICAN DISHES: 

Love this oxtail dish and want something just as delicious? Try my favorite:

Jamaican oxtail stew garnished with parsley

​​Jamaican oxtail

​​Jamaican oxtail is a simple recipe with big, bold flavors. It is made with hearty, wholesome ingredients by simmering and stewing oxtails with root vegetables, herbs, scotch bonnet pepper, and spices.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: jamaican
Keyword: oxtail recipe, oxtail stew
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 568kcal
Author: Lola Osinkolu

Ingredients

  • 3 lb oxtails
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon or 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon ginger minced
  • ½ cup green bell pepper finely chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon scotch bonnet pepper to taste
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt or add to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper or add to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 5 cups beef broth
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 can butter beans or broad beans – optional

Instructions

  • Cut off excess fat: Use a kitchen shear or scissors to cut off the excess fat. The fat is good, but too much of it will leave your stew greasy. Trust me; you will not like it!
  • Wash the oxtails: Wash the oxtails with lemon or lime and salt and rinse out with water or vinegar (optional) until the water runs clear.
  • Pat dry: Pat the oxtails dry with a paper towel to dry up any leftover water.
  • Season with allspice, paprika, minced ginger, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, soy sauce. Add the scallion, diced onion, and bell peppers. Mix well.
  • Marinate: Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes. It’s best between 6 to 8 hours.
  • Braise the oxtails: Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the oxtails one at a time. Be sure not to crowd them. Braise each side for about 10 minutes each on low to medium heat. Be sure to braise on all sides. This helps to build flavor and lock in the juice.
  • Add the marinade veggies and leave to cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the beef broth, cover, and leave to cook for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Stir in the butter beans and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Notes

  1. Oxtails are fatty, which means more flavor. However, you still want to make sure the fat is trimmed off as much as possible so that your stew will not end up being too greasy.
  2. Jamaican oxtail uses habanero pepper which brings up the heat in the stew. If you are not a fan of spice, feel free to reduce the quantity of habanero.
  3. It’s best not to skip any of the ingredients listed in this recipe. However, if you choose to skip any, please don’t skip allspice!
  4. It’s best to make more than you need for this recipe because you can keep any leftover in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and it also freezes very well. Just store in freezer-safe containers with a tight-fitting lid and use as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 60g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 199mg | Sodium: 819mg | Potassium: 688mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2505IU | Vitamin C: 30.5mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 10.1mg

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Recipe Rating




Gregor Kandler

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

Awesome very clear and precise!! going to try your way!

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 10th of November 2021

I love to know what you think once you try it!

Dene

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

This actually turned out really well. Perfect combination of spices.

Lola Osinkolu

Wednesday 14th of July 2021

“Thank you, it makes my day to hear that.

michael munger

Sunday 10th of January 2021

What type of boullian powder do you use beef? or chicken?

Lola Osinkolu

Monday 11th of January 2021

I used Chicken.

Nathan

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

What is “Seasoning Powder”???

Lola Osinkolu

Thursday 8th of October 2020

Hi Nathan, it's bouillon powder.

connie wirz

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

I made this once and it turned out very well, thank you. Can you tell me what is 'seasoning powder'?

Lola Osinkolu

Friday 11th of December 2020

I'm glad it turned out well fr you. Seasoning powder is bouillon powder. The cube will work just as well.