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Jamaican Oxtail Stew

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It's not just another Jamaican dish, its savoury, it's the tasty Jamaican oxtail stew!

jamaican oxtail stew

Although I always enjoyed the meal, as a child, I was always curious of this oxtail meal. In my mind I always said, "I have never seen an ox, so why should I have the tail"?

So one day I asked and was told that 'oxtail' is simply the culinary name for the tail of a beef animal. I also learnt that the ox is simply a castrated bull so that that was edifying.

Back to the meal...

Well, I have never prepared it, but my sister Neka, who is the best cook in the family, is the queen at this- and I dear say for many of our local dishes as well. She is the best!

When she cooks it not even the bones are spared, they are equally succulent. Of course that require much more cooking time or a pressure cooker.

Although relatively expensive here, it is still have by many Jamaicans, at least once per week.

By the way, the defining difference between our version and the way the rest of the world enjoys it is, again - the pimento (allspice)

I consulted my family members, did a little research and is now presenting to you the recipe.

Here's is it, give it a try nuh!


  • 2.5 lbs oxtail
  • 2 tblsp. cooking oil
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1 medium tomato -chopped
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 2 stalks escallions- chopped
  • 2 stalks green onions finely sliced
  • 1 sprig thyme-chopped
  • 1 can butter beans
  • Water, salt and pepper, as needed.


  1. Remove excess fat.
  2. Pour oil in saucepan and add pieces of oxtail when oil is hot- very hot.
  3. Remove when both sides are brown.
  4. Place oxtail in cooking pot, cover and simmer for approximately 3.5 to 4 hours or until oxtail is almost tender.
  5. Combine onion, garlic, allspice, carrots, thyme, tomato, escallion, salt & pepper together separately.
  6. When tender, add more water if necessary and add the other ingredients.
  7. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Add the butter beans and allow to simmer for just a few more minutes or until gravy is thick.
  9. Have it your way!

    N.B. Consider using a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time. Remember also to set aside more time if uncooked beans are instead, it will need to be cooked separately first. Note also that food browning is sometimes used instead of frying the oxtail brown.

Picture courtesy of jamaicamix.com

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