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Jamaican Oxtail Stew Recipe

Jamaican Oxtail Stew – This Jamaican-style oxtail soup recipe is fantastically easy to prepare on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or an Instant Pot. It features fresh veggies and a kick of spice for a savory, delicious and comforting dish!

Jamaican oxtail stew in a bowl with white rice

What is Oxtail Stew?

Deeply flavorful oxtail stew is a classic Jamaican dish, and it’s not hard to see why it is so loved! Perfectly caramelized and tender oxtails are cooked low and slow with carrots, peppers, and bold aromatics. The result is a fork-tender hearty soup that tastes both comforting and exciting at the same time!

This traditional recipe is quite simple to make but creates an intense deliciousness that’s impossible to resist. You might be a bit intimidated by the idea of oxtail if you aren’t already familiar with the ingredient. However, I promise the protein is very easy to work with! When cooked, the pieces have a texture and taste similar to beef short ribs.

Oxtail stew with veggies is a fabulous cold weather and holiday dinner party dish… It is rich and hearty, a little spicy, and unique enough to serve to dinner guests. Plus, the recipe can be made on the stovetop in a few hours, in an Instant Pot in a bit over an hour, or simmered in the slow cooker all day for an effortless evening meal.

top view white rice with oxtail soup with napkin to the side

Ingredients You Need

  • Oxtailspre-sliced and packaged or ordered at the butcher counter
  • Worcestershire saucefor a deep savory flavor
  • Brown sugaradds a bit of sweetness
  • Allspicea key spice for classic oxtail stew
  • Olive oilor preferred high heat cooking oil
  • Onionpeeled and chopped
  • Garlicminced
  • Carrotspeeled and cut into chunks
  • Bell peppersseeded and chopped
  • Scotch bonnet pepperor habanero
  • Bay leaves – dried
  • Fresh thyme leavesor dried
  • Ketchupto add a hint of tangy taste
  • Apple cider vinegaradds acid for balance
  • Beef brothor bouillon with water
  • Canned butter beansdrained
  • Cornstarchto thicken the stew
  • Scallionschopped
  • Salt and pepperto taste
ingredients on a cutting board: chopped peppers, garlic, onions, habanero

How to Make Jamaican Oxtail Stew

First, place the oxtails in a large baking dish. Pour in the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of allspice.

Toss well to coat the oxtails in the seasonings.

ox tails with brown sugar and spices in a baking dish

Place a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, place half the oxtails in the pot and brown for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Move the oxtails around the pan so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove the oxtails and repeat with the remaining second batch. Remove all the oxtails from the pot. 

Next, add the onions and garlic to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then place all the browned oxtails back to the pot.

caramelized ox tails in a pot with broth

Top them with the chopped carrots, bell peppers, one whole scotch bonnet pepper, bay leaves, thyme, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar. Then pour the beef broth over the top.

cooking pot with chopped raw veggies, carrots and peppers and seasonings

Cover with a heavy lid and cook on medium-low for 2-3 hours, until the oxtail meat is fork-tender. 

Get the Complete (Printable) Jamaican Oxtail Stew Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

top view white soup pot with oxtail stew, carrots, and chopped green onions

When the meat is cooked, drain the butter beans and toss them with cornstarch. Stir the beans into the oxtail soup. Simmer another 5-10 minutes to thicken the stew.

Sprinkle with chopped scallions, if you like, and serve warm.

top view white soup pot with homemade stew with veggies

Jamaican Oxtail Soup Slow Cooker Recipe

Saute the oxtails and veggies on the stovetop as instructed in the recipe.

Move everything to the slow cooker and cover. Set on high for 7-8 hours, or on low for 12-14 hours.

Lastly, stir in the beans and cornstarch at the end and simmer for another 10 minutes.

side view bowl Jamaican oxtail stew and white rice with other bowl in the background

Easy Instant Pot Oxtail Stew Recipe

Sauté the oxtails and veggies in the Instant Pot as directed in the stovetop recipe. Add the beef broth to deglaze the pot and add all other ingredients.

Then pressure cook on high for 40 minutes. Stir in the beans and cornstarch at the end, and simmer another 10 minutes using the sauté function.

top view two bowls with homemade oxtail stew and chopped scallions, white rice and soup pot in background

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you serve with Jamaican oxtail stew?

Enjoy in a bowl as-is by itself, or nestled alongside a bed of fluffy white or brown rice. For a low carb option pair with roasted cauliflower rice.

Is oxtail stew gluten-free?

Yes, it is! This recipe uses cornstarch as a thickener and is naturally gluten-free.

How long will leftovers last?

Leftovers of this soup are fantastic, since the flavors become more intense the longer it sits. It will keep well for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, transfer cooled leftovers to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

closer view tender ox tails with carrots and peppers in a bowl with rice

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Jamaican Oxtail Stew (Stovetop, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker!)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Jamaican-style oxtail soup is easy to prepare on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. This easy recipe features fresh veggies and kick of spice for a rich and savory, delicious and comforting dish!
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the oxtails in a large baking dish. Poor in the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of allspice. Toss well to coat the ox tails in the seasonings.
  • Place a large 6-8 quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the olive oil to the pot. Once hot, place half the oxtails in the pot and brown for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Move the oxtails around the pan so the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom. Remove the ox tails and repeat with the remaining second batch. Remove all the oxtails from the pot.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then place all the browned oxtails back to the pot. Top them with the chopped carrots, bell peppers, one whole scotch bonnet pepper, bay leaves, thyme, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar. Pour the beef broth over the top. Cover with a heavy lid and cook on medium-low for 2-3 hours, until the oxtail meat is fork-tender.
  • Drain the butter beans and toss them with cornstarch. Stir the beans into the stew. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle of scallions, and serve as-is or with a side of rice.

Video

Notes

This dish can be made in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker as well!
  • For the Instant Pot: Sauté the oxtails and veggies as directed. Then pressure cook on high for 40 minutes. Stir in the beans and cornstarch at the end and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • For the Slow Cooker: Saute the oxtails and veggies as directed, on the stovetop. Move everything to the slow cooker and set on high for 7-8 hours, or on low for 12-14 hours. Stir in the beans and cornstarch at the end and simmer another 10 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 749kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 76g, Fat: 35g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 249mg, Sodium: 1152mg, Potassium: 579mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 6408IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 125mg, Iron: 12mg
Course: Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Author: Sommer Collier

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4 comments on “Jamaican Oxtail Stew Recipe”

  1. Pure comfort food! I never thought I would enjoy oxtail so much. This recipe is a keeper!

  2. This stew has so much flavor! Just what I needed on a cool night. Delicious!

  3. I was a little leery of giving this a try, but I was surprised by how much we all loved it! It is fun to expose my kids to new ways of eating, and different cultures, so thank you!

  4. I’ve never had oxtail before, and it was kinda intimidating to think about how to cook it, but this recipe is super easy and extremely tasty!