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How to Make Oxtail Stew (A Jamaican-Style Recipe)

Updated on September 29, 2017
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Janis loves to post original recipes on occasion, influenced by the creative cooking skills inherited from her mother and aunts.

Jamaican Style Oxtail Stew With Rice

A hot bowl of oxtail stew Jamaican style is a flavorful Caribbean beef dish served over white rice.
A hot bowl of oxtail stew Jamaican style is a flavorful Caribbean beef dish served over white rice. | Source

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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. So I refer to myself as a "Jahmerican." I was exposed to the many 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!

Oxtail Preparation Before Seasoning and Cooking

Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat from the oxtail before seasoning.
Using a sharp knife, trim any excess fat from the oxtail before seasoning. | Source

Oxtails are Pre-trimmed of Fat

Oxtails should be fresh, uniform in size, and fat-trimmed.
Oxtails should be fresh, uniform in size, and fat-trimmed. | Source

How Does This Recipe Rate?

3.3 stars from 91 ratings of Oxtail Stew

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 4 hours
Ready in: 4 hours 30 min
Yields: Approximately 5 servings of 3 oxtails

Ingredients

  • 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
  • flour
  • canola oil

Fresh Oxtails Cut for Stew or Soup

Cleaned and trimmed oxtails are ready for seasoning.
Cleaned and trimmed oxtails are ready for seasoning. | Source

Oxtail Stew Recipe "Jahmerican" Style

Seasoned oxtails sit beside my recipe I've been sharing with friends since 2008.
Seasoned oxtails sit beside my recipe I've been sharing with friends since 2008. | Source

Get Your Pots, Spices, Get Set, and Go!

  1. 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.
  2. 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 pepperecorns. 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 desired consistency for stew, adding more or less flour and water. Add sherry. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. 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 Oxtails

Click thumbnail to view full-size
After browning, oxtails are covered with hot water and simmered for several hours.Brown oxtails in hot oil by turning and shifting each piece.Lightly floured oxtails will brown nicely and later add thickening to the stew.
After browning, oxtails are covered with hot water and simmered for several hours.
After browning, oxtails are covered with hot water and simmered for several hours. | Source
Brown oxtails in hot oil by turning and shifting each piece.
Brown oxtails in hot oil by turning and shifting each piece. | Source
Lightly floured oxtails will brown nicely and later add thickening to the stew.
Lightly floured oxtails will brown nicely and later add thickening to the stew. | Source

Oxtail Stew Serving Suggestion

Oxtail stew with carrots, onions, and butter beans is best served over white rice.
Oxtail stew with carrots, onions, and butter beans is best served over white rice. | Source

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, 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

My cap and flag are symbols of my Jamaican-American heritage.
My cap and flag are symbols of my Jamaican-American heritage. | Source

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for reading, you're welcome.

    • Collie Brown profile image

      Collie 2 years ago from currently Asia

      i appreciate the site. thanks

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      OMG, dayo! When I saw your name, I said to myself, 'I've seen this person here before,' and it IS you! I'm so happy to see you again and so pleased that you tried the recipe and love it! You just made my day. You're welcome a million times!!!

    • profile image

      dayo 2 years ago

      Hi Janshares,

      Im bak 7 months later, with hubby (the way to a mans heart IS indeed his stomach) and baby on the way- hunting down THIS particular recipe. .and just letting you know this is HANDS DOWN a favorite- top 3 in my house! Thanks again, a million times!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      I hope it comes out well, Marlene. I'm so glad you found this recipe hub after tasting oxtails for the first time. The recipes vary depending on the culture and region. Thank you for your generous comment and for visiting. Enjoy!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I had my first taste of Oxtail Stew while visiting my brother and his wife in South Carolina earlier this year. I had never heard of it. Apparently, it is one of those meals that you simply must have when visiting that area, so my sister-in-law prepared it for her visiting guests. I must say, it was delicious like no other stew I had ever tasted. I am happy to have found this recipe. Fortunately, I live a retired lifestyle so I can prepare it any time. Your recipe is very well-written and easy to follow. The pictures are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      LOL, LOL, as long as you've chewed it very well before swallowing. I appreciate the visit.

    • Uppity Automaton profile image

      Uppity Automaton 3 years ago from Washington, D.C

      This looks good, but can you still eat it if your stomach is made of moving parts?

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Ha ha ha, love your comments, DREAM ON! You'll have to try my pork chop hub then. Thanks so much for your visit and comments.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      Interesting and if I was going to eat oxtails I would follow your lovely recipe. I am a boring eater. I simply love just a burger, steak or pork chops. I have seen the packages of meat and it is just too wild for me. Some day I might just be daring and give your recipe a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks, Joyette, hope it turns out well. You're so welcome.

    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Fabien 3 years ago from Dominica

      Going to try this! I absolutely love Jamaican food! Thanks for sharing.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Blond Logic. I hope it turns out okay. I appreciate your interest and enthusiasm about trying the recipe. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      This does sound good and I know a local butchers where I can buy oxtail. I never knew what to do with it though. This could become one of our favorites.

    • profile image

      Mims 3 years ago

      This looks and sounds great, will have to try. Do you have your own site or blog. I would like to learn more about TRADITIONAL Jamaican/Caribbean foods, traditions, hair and skin care. Thanks for posting!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Oh my, that is so good to hear, ha ha ha ha! My mother is smiling down on both of us right now. You are so welcome and thank you for coming to this hub and trying the recipe.

    • profile image

      dayo 3 years ago

      This oxtail stew is so good it has me wanting to marry mySELF. I didn't add the scallions it turned out lovely. Thank you for sharing !

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      OMG, you're so welcome, bethperry. I never get comments on this hub. Thank you so much for visiting. I hope it comes out well.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 years ago from Tennesee

      Ooh, this sounds good! If I try I think I will include the scallions, too. Thanks for posting, Jan!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      It is very good, torrilynn. There are different versions depending on the island and the country. Thanks for stopping by, good to see you.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 3 years ago

      this oxtail recipe seems very delicious indeed. when I was in the Bahamas, I think I tried this recipe or at least something very similar. voted up and pinned.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      That's an excellent idea, livewithrichard. It's a very tender part of the ox, quite expensive and considered a delicacy. I would recommended tasting it first. Thanks for stopping by

    • livewithrichard profile image

      Richard Bivins 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I have to admit, I have never tried Jamaican food. I like to pride myself on trying anything once. Living here in Chicago, I get to live up to that all the time. The picture you have up looks good but I have to say I'm a bit hesitant on the oxtail thing...lol I think I'll try to find a Jamaican restaurant and try it out before I attempt to cook it myself. Thanks for the hub.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Tony, glad you found this hub. It was the second won I wrote after 2 days on HP, having no clue that it would end up being my best performing hub. I appreciate your visit and nice comments about the personal touch. I think it's important to share something with the readers other than just ingredients. Thanks for stopping by.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 4 years ago from Yorkshire

      Jan

      nice hub, I like the personal touches too, I always try to make people feel welcome if I can.

      I enjoy Jamaican food, we recently had a chef, I can't remember his name famous in the Windies as a chef, anyway he did a number of programmes featuring food from that region.

      Listen to some reggae and chill out to old Bob M and goat curry.

      regards

      Tony

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thanks for reading it. Let me know how it works out.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank so much for reading it. Maybe one day you'll get the chance to taste it.

    • aDayInMyLife1 profile image

      Amanda S 5 years ago from CA

      Sounds great. I can't wait to try this. Southeast Asians have a version of oxtail soup that is one of my favorites.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Looks and sounds delicious. Can't say that I have tried much Jamaican food, but I am tempted to see if there is anywhere doing it on this side of the globe (not a great cook myself lol). Will be great for those with more kitchen skills though!