Jamaican-Style Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 4 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
892 Calories
37g Fat
29g Carbs
108g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 892
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 37g 47%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 311mg 104%
Sodium 310mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 108g
Calcium 184mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Oxtails are actually beef tails. They are loaded with fat and bone and take a long time to cook. They are just right for braising and use in stews, soups, and stocks. Korean, Italian, and Carribean cuisines are all especially known for using oxtails. The Jamaican touch in this recipe is in the use of the allspice. Don't skip it. Use the recipe variations to add more Jamaican flavors.


Click Play to See This Jamaican-Style Oxtail Stew Recipe Come Together

This recipe comes from "The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors" by Jeff Smith.


  • 1/3 cup small white beans (dried)
  • 2 cups water (approximately, divided)
  • 3 pounds beef oxtails
  • 1 tablespoon lard (freshly rendered or vegetable oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • 1 medium onion (yellow, peeled, and diced)
  • 1 medium tomato (diced)
  • 2 cups beef stock (homemade or canned)
  • 2 tablespoons allspice (freshly ground or to taste)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Tabasco (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the beans in a small saucepan and add 1 cup of the water.

  3. Bring to a boil, covered, and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour, covered.

  4. Then drain.

  5. Brown the oxtails well in the lard or oil.

  6. Place the oxtails in a 6-quart stovetop casserole, along with the garlic, onion, and tomato. Add the beef stock and enough water so that it just covers the contents of the pot. Then add the allspice, salt, and pepper.

  7. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, then add the drained beans.

  8. Simmer for an additional 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid during the last hour of cooking if you prefer a thicker sauce. Be careful that the pot does not boil dry; if it looks imminent, add a bit more water.

  9. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed, and a few shots of Tabasco, to taste.

  10. Enjoy!


  • Bread is a nice complement to stew. Choose a soft crusty bread to dip into the stew.
  • Oxtail stew calls for a refreshing beverage. A cold beer can be a nice pairing or go for a dry red wine. Choose a familiar one like malbec, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel or merlot. Try a blend of cabernet and shiraz or merlot and cabernet. Or get really adventuresome and crack open a bottle of Spanish tempranillo or a tempranillo blend. It's an earthy wine that goes great with a hearty stew-like oxtail.

Recipe Variation

  • For a more authentic Jamaican recipe, add scotch bonnet peppers and fresh thyme to the vegetables and replace the beans with potatoes.
  • For an Italian take on the recipe, braise the oxtail in red wine; whichever one you like to drink with stew would be a good choice to add to the recipe.

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