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Authentic Jamaican Oxtail Recipe: A Taste of the Caribbean

ndulge in the flavors of the Caribbean with this authentic Jamaican Oxtail recipe. Oxtail stew is a beloved dish that holds a special place in Jamaican cuisine, renowned for its rich, savory taste and tender meat falling off the bone. This dish is perfect for warming up on chilly evenings or impressing guests with its depth of flavor and hearty appeal. Let's dive into how to create this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen.

Authentic Jamaican Oxtail Recipe


  • 3-4 lbs oxtail, trimmed of excess fat

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 cups beef broth

  • 1 cup red wine (optional)

  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Scotch bonnet pepper (optional, for heat)

  • 2 cups water, or as needed

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 (16 oz) can butter beans, drained (optional)


  1. Prepare the oxtail: Rinse the oxtail pieces under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and pepper.

  2. Brown (Searing) the oxtail: Heat the vegetable or coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the oxtail on all sides until they are deeply caramelized. Remove the browned oxtail and set aside.

  3. Saute aromatics: In the same pot, add the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes.

  4. Deglaze the pot: Pour in the red wine (if using) to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Allow the wine to simmer for a few minutes until it reduces slightly.

  5. Add remaining ingredients: Return the oxtail to the pot and add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and Scotch bonnet pepper if using. Stir well to combine.

  6. Simmer the stew: Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the stew cook gently for 2-3 hours, or until the oxtail is tender and falling off the bone. Stir occasionally and add water as needed to keep the stew from drying out.

  7. Finish the stew: Once the oxtail is tender, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the pot. Stir in the drained butter beans (optional) and simmer for another 5 minutes to heat them through. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

  8. Serve and enjoy: Ladle the Jamaican oxtail stew into bowls and serve hot, accompanied by rice and peas, steamed vegetables, or your favorite Caribbean side dishes. Garnish with fresh parsley or chopped scallions for a pop of color and flavor.


  • For a quicker option, use a pressure cooker to cook the oxtail for 30-40 minutes at high pressure.

  • Adjust the scotch bonnet pepper amount to your spice preference. You can even leave it out for a milder dish.

  • Don't skip the browning sauce – it adds that signature Jamaican depth of flavor.

  • Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro for an extra pop of color and taste.

With its bold flavors and comforting warmth, Jamaican Oxtail stew is sure to become a favorite in your home. Whether you're cooking for family dinners or hosting a gathering with friends, this dish is guaranteed to impress with its authentic taste of the Caribbean. So gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to savor the irresistible goodness of homemade Jamaican oxtail stew. Cheers to good food and happy cooking!

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