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Best Jamaican Oxtail Stew/Soup (VIDEO) | Chef Lola’s Kitchen

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:

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