Jamaican Oxtail Stew


I searched high and low for an authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe. It will almost remind Americans of beef stew. I've spent days watching Jamaican cooking videos and international cooks; I wanted to identify what ingredients and techniques were mostly consistent across the board. This recipe is as authentic as it gets, next to being in Jamaica. Be sure to use all fresh veggies and feel free to adjust to your own spice levels. Enjoy with saffron rice or rice and peas. It's rich in flavor, texture, and taste. The meat should literally fall off the bone. So good luck and enjoy!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs
Total Time:
11 hrs 15 mins
8 servings


  • 4 ½ pounds beef oxtail

  • 2 habanero peppers, divided

  • 2 medium white onions, quartered

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 bunches scallions, roughly chopped

  • 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 cube beef bouillon

  • 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon browning sauce

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup ketchup

  • 4 cups water, or more as needed

  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 1 (16 ounce) can butter beans, rinsed and drained

  • 8 ounces fire-roasted diced tomatoes


  1. Clean and trim excess fat off oxtail. Stem and seed habanero peppers.

  2. Combine onions, bell peppers, 1 habanero pepper, scallions, ginger, thyme, garlic, and beef bouillon in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until a paste-like consistency is achieved.

  3. Season oxtails with 1/2 cup of the blended mixture, jerk seasoning, browning sauce, and soy sauce. Massage mixture deep into oxtails; cover, refrigerate, and allow to marinate, 8 hours or overnight.

  4. Remove from refrigerator and let stand until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove oxtails from the mixture, reserving marinade.

  5. Heat olive oil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add oxtails, turning and browning on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add 90% of the reserved marinade, ketchup, and cover. Cook until oxtail has created its own juices, about 15 minutes. Add water, remaining habanero pepper, allspice, and bay leaf. Cook over medium heat until tender, stirring often to prevent sticking, 2 to 3 hours.

  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Reduce heat and let simmer, 15 to 20 minutes. Add beans and tomatoes; let simmer, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Cook's Notes:

You can use vegetable oil instead of olive, and 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries instead of ground.

You can use this recipe in a slow cooker as well. Just be sure to brown the oxtail after marinating, then add to slow cooker.

For best results, marinate overnight. For quick cooking, marinate oxtails for at least 2 hours.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

481 Calories
24g Fat
23g Carbs
44g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 481
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 1019mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 75mg 375%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 580mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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