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Jamaican Oxtail

Jamaican Oxtail







Jamaican Oxtail


Jamaican Oxtail is another number one favourite for many people including myself. My oxtails are cooked to where the meat is almost falling off the bone soft and seasoned with the perfect combination of Jamaican seasonings to make it flavorful and cooked with carrots and butter beans or broad beans in the end to give it the perfect taste. Some Jamaicans also add spinners which are small little dumplings. And of course some people also have different variations of how they cook this dish. I am going to share with you my version of Jamaican oxtails.





Oxtails are the tails of a cow cut up. So it tastes like beef but with a richer texture when made into a stew because of the extra fat and gelatin. Although this is made different ways in other countries, our unique flavor of making oxtails in Jamaica has become popular to many people. Personally, of all Jamaican dishes, I must say that this actually is my favorite as many other Jamaicans would agree.



Ingredients for Jamaican Oxtail



  • Oxtail
  • Garlic
  • Scallion
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Pimento Berries
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Dark or Mushroom Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Oil
  • Ketchup
  • Butter Beans or Broad Beans
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper – (optional)



Preparation Steps for Cooking Jamaican Oxtail





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  1. Wash off oxtails in a little water and cut off any excess fatty pieces (you can still leave on a little fat though as it gives the dish some added flavor).
  2. Add all of your powdered and natural seasonings along with the others listed in the instructions.
  3. Mix well in a large seasoning bowl. It is then left to marinade in a seasoning bowl at least 1-2 hours or longer.
  4. When ready to cook, the best pot to cook this in is a pressure cooker if you have one otherwise it will take at least 2 -3 hours to become tender if cooked in a regular pot.
  5. Heat your pot on high heat and add your oil. Wait a few minutes until hot and add oxtail all at once to brown for a few minutes. Stir and brown the other side another minute.
  6. Add water per instructions for either a pressure cooker or regular pot.
  7. Check your meat at different intervals for tenderness. (You want it to be at the point where the fork goes through easily and you’re not feeling resistance.
  8. Prepare your carrots and onions. Open your beans and drain them and measure out your ketchup.
  9. When your meat is mostly tender, add carrots and ketchup and continue cooking for 5 minutes, then add your beans in the last 10 minutes. I advise to use canned beans that are not too soft or they will mash out too quickly. Here in Jamaica, I use Lasco or Goya.
  10. Add onions in the last 2 minutes. Season to taste.
  11. Simmer for a few minutes and your end result should be a delicious and satisfying meal with the meat so soft it’s almost falling off the bone. Hope you enjoy my recipe and leave me a comment!









Jamaican Oxtails

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 People
Author Dianne


  • 3 Lbs. Oxtail
  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Stalks Scallions cut fine
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp Pimento berries
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp Season salt
  • 2 Tbsp Mushroom or Dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 2-3 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1-2 Cans Butter Beans or Broad Beans
  • 1 Med Onion cut horizontal
  • 1 Med - Lg. Carrot cut in rounds
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)


  1. Season meat with all ingredients up to the sugar including the scotch bonnet if using. Mix well, cover and let marinate at least 1-2 hours or longer.

  2. Heat pot on medium-high heat, add oil, when hot add meat all at once and stir for about 1 minute. Add enough water to cover meat.(** If using a pressure cooker, add about 3 cups of water and cook for 30 minutes and check for tenderness, continue pressuring at estimated intervals until mostly soft maybe 5-10 minutes. When tender enough, transfer to a regular deep pot and follow the next step.) If using a regular pot, cook on high for at least 2 hours checking frequently and adding water as needed until soft. If using a slow cooker, your cooking time will be longer until it becomes soft as well. Keep water level lower when it is almost soft.

  3. When tender, add carrots, cook for about 5 minutes, then add onions, and butter beans in last 10 minutes along with ketchup. Season to taste as needed. Simmer a few minutes and remove from heat.

Recipe Notes

Best served with white rice or rice and peas.







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Sandy Lue
5 years ago

5 stars
Yummy! My favorite dish. More so because no one in my family likes the bones – all for me. I add big pieces of stew beef so that they have something to eat. It’s important to keep the pieces whole to compensate for the longer cooking times of the ox-tail. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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