How to Make An Authentic Jamaican Oxtails Recipe

When we think of Jamaican cuisine, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the punchy, spicy flavour of our favourite jerk chicken recipe. But that’s not the only fabulous food that Jamaica is famous for.

Take oxtail for example. If you’ve never tried the rich, meaty goodness of Jamaican oxtail, you are certainly missing out.

If you’re lucky enough to have a holiday to Jamaica planned, make sure you try authentic Jamaican oxtail for yourself. You’ll have no trouble finding the dish, it’s a point of pride on the menus of all Jamaica's best cafes and restaurants.

But if are at home and want to learn a savoury Jamaican oxtails recipe, you are in the right place. In this article, we're going to show you how to cook Jamaican oxtail, but first, we're going to tell you what it is.

What is Oxtail?

If you haven't come across oxtail before, you are forgiven for wondering what it actually is.

Well, quite simply, oxtail is the meat from the tail of an ox or steer. It’s rich in gelatine, which is why you’ll often find oxtail in recipes which require long, slow cooking. Oxtail is particularly good when cooked in stews and soups. Recipes like these really bring out the flavour of the meat, which is so rich and delicious!

Oxtail isn’t just a popular in Jamaican culture. In fact, you’ll find the meat being enjoyed throughout the world. It’s really popular as a soup in South America, West Africa, Spain and China, and it’s heavily prevalent in Indonesian cuisine too.

The West Indians prefer to cook oxtail as a stew, and you’ll find it done this way in Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago. In Africa, people also cook their oxtail in a stew, and serve it with locally grown vegetables and a maize meal called sadza.

How do I Cook Oxtail?

There are many different oxtail recipes used by the Jamaican people. But, if you want to know where to get the best oxtail recipe, you’re in luck!

Our authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe is so packed full of flavour, you won’t need to try any others. Follow this recipe and you’ll soon know how to make the dish for yourself. Before long you’ll be teaching friends and family how to do it, too.

Jamaican Oxtail Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds of oxtail
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic and herb spices
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of browning sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Steps To Make The Best Jamaican Oxtail Recipe:

Step 1: Take a shallow baking dish, and add the oxtail first.

Step 2: Mix up Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt, garlic and herb seasoning, browning sauce, sugar, paprika and both types of pepper to create a sauce. Rub the oxtail with the sauce and remove any excess from the dish.

Step 3: Place a large pan over a high heat and sear the outside of the oxtail in vegetable oil until it changes colour to a golden brown hue. This should take around three minutes. Then, take your oxtail out and place it on a plate.

Step 4: In the same pan, sauté your carrots, garlic, celery and onion until they begin to go soft. It’ll take around five minutes. Once they’re softened, start to add your beef broth, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring the mixture up to the boil and then, as soon as it’s boiling, you can add your oxtail.

Step 5: Reduce the heat on your pan and cover. Then simmer at a low heat until the oxtail is completely tender and falls apart. This will take around three hours. It’s worth the wait!

Step 6: Once the oxtail is tender and succulent, you can remove the lid and increase the heat. Stir the mixture from time to time and wait for the sauce to thicken. It’ll only take five minutes or so.

Step 7: Your authentic Jamaican oxtail is now ready to serve! You can serve this dish as it is, for a comforting stew, or accompany it with typical Jamaican sides like rice and peas or baked plantain.

After you try this oxtail recipe, go to try the real thing

So, now you’ve heard all there is to know about the art of making a real Jamaican culinary classic. If you are cooking at home, we hope you absolutely love this flavourful dish.

If you want to try a local version for yourself and experience more Jamaican culture, book a vacation at one of Jamaica's wonderful all inclusive resorts.

There’s a reason why they call it comfort food, and when you dig into your first plate of Jamaican oxtails you’ll soon see why. So, grab your ingredients, read up on the method and hit the kitchen!

Before you know it the rich aroma of fabulous Jamaican cuisine will be filling your home. Make sure you make enough for the whole family, as well as a few unexpected visitors - that amazing smell will soon draw them in!

If you want to learn how to make more Jamaican food, follow our guide to cook jerk chicken.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning how to make Jamaican oxtails with us, and we can’t wait to hear what you think of this authentic and delicious Jamaican recipe. It’s a real taste of the Caribbean!

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Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Born on the tropical island that is Saint Lucia affords a never-ending source of inspiration. In the past 13 years, Kylie loved to work with various newspapers, magazines and blogs in the Caribbean.

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