How to Make a Jamaican-Style Oxtail Stew
Jamaican Style Oxtail Stew With Rice
Oxtail Stew: A Favorite Jamaican Tradition
Who doesn't savor the rich and spicy style of Jamaican cooking? It's a favorite of many Americans of all cultures. I grew up in a Jamaican-American household with a mixture of authentic Jamaican cuisine and typical American-style dishes.
I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York to Jamaican parents who immigrated to the United States in the 1950s and active members of the "Caribbean Club." So I refer to myself as a "Jahmerican." I was exposed to the many cultural traditions of a Caribbean family to include the amazing tastes of the food.
My mother was known in Buffalo as the premiere beef patty lady. She also made a mean curry chicken and the most perfect pot of rice and peas.
I learned a few things from her about Jamaican-style cooking and offer you one of my favorites: Oxtail Stew - "Jahmerican" Style. To make it right, like most traditional Caribbean dishes, you will need a lot of time. So I suggest trying this on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!
A "Jahmerican" is a first generation American of Jamaican descent who remains connected to the traditions of the Caribbean culture, especially the food!
Which authentic Jamaican foods have you tried?
Oxtail Preparation Before Seasoning and Cooking
Oxtails are Pre-trimmed of Fat
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- 2 pkgs, 7 to 8 pieces per package oxtails, lean, least fatty
- 1 can Hanover Butter Beans, 15 ounce
- 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounce, or 3/4 of can
- 1 onion, medium, chopped
- 4 carrots, medium, chopped
- 6 to 8 berries whole Jamaican allspice, or tsp of powder
- 6 to 8 berries whole peppercorns
- dash cinnamon and nutmeg
- tsp each salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup cooking sherry
- 2 Tbsp McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning
- canola oil
Fresh Oxtails Cut for Stew or Soup
Oxtail Stew Recipe "Jahmerican" Style
Get Your Pots, Spices, Get Set, and Go!
- Wash oxtails thoroughly with water. Season with salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover pieces lightly with flour. Using a dutch oven or large pot, spray with cooking spray and cover bottom with canola oil (about a 1/4 inch). Heat oil, add oxtails and brown on all sides with high heat, turning each individually, while keeping a kettle or pot of boling water to use during remainder of cooking.
- After meat has browned, add hot water, fill to cover oxtails; do not fill entire pot with water. Cover and simmer on medium/low heat for first hour. Add chopped onions, whole Jamaica allspice and whole peppercorns. Add more water to cover meat; cover and simmer on medium/low heat for second hour. Add chopped carrots. Add more water as needed. Cover and simmer on low heat for third hour. Add butter beans, cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce; add mixture of beef stew seasoning and 3 tablespoons of flour with 3/4 cup of water. Stir in for your desired consistency for stew, adding more or less flour and water. Add sherry. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When ready, meat should be very tender, slightly off the bone. Serve with white rice. Use this recipe as a guide only; season with salt and pepper to your own taste; monitor heat variations and cooking time durations depending on size and quantity of oxtails.
Cooking Steps for OxtailsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Oxtail Stew Serving Suggestion
Oxtail Stew Recipe Adjustments
As stated above, this recipe serves as a guide. Try it out a few times to achieve the taste and consistency that meet your needs. As you tweak your own version of Oxtail Stew, consider the following additions:
- for a spicier, hotter flavor, add Scotch Bonnet fresh peppers or hot pepper sauce
- add scallion and crushed garlic clove for more flavor
- check oxtails for tenderness during the last hour to adjust time needed for further cooking
- if you can't find allspice berries, substitute ground allspice
- add flour dumplings for a heartier meal
A "Jahmerican" Represents the USA and the Jamaican Cultural Heritage
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans