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!
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.
Ingredients You Need
- Oxtails – pre-sliced and packaged or ordered at the butcher counter
- Worcestershire sauce – for a deep savory flavor
- Brown sugar – adds a bit of sweetness
- Allspice – a key spice for classic oxtail stew
- Olive oil – or preferred high heat cooking oil
- Onion – peeled and chopped
- Garlic – minced
- Carrots – peeled and cut into chunks
- Bell peppers – seeded and chopped
- Scotch bonnet pepper – or habanero
- Bay leaves – dried
- Fresh thyme leaves – or dried
- Ketchup – to add a hint of tangy taste
- Apple cider vinegar – adds acid for balance
- Beef broth – or bouillon with water
- Canned butter beans – drained
- Cornstarch – to thicken the stew
- Scallions – chopped
- Salt and pepper – to taste
How to Make Jamaican Oxtail Recipe
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Easy Instant Pot Oxtail Stew Recipe
Sauté the oxtails and veggies in the pressure cooker 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.
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.
Looking for More Delicious Stew and Soup Recipes?
- The Best Beef Stew Recipe
- Brazilian Feijoada (Pork and Black Bean Stew)
- Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Carne Guisada Recipe (Con Papas)
Check the printable recipe card below for the nutritional information including calories, carbohydrates, protein, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, fiber, vitamin c, and calcium percentages.
Jamaican Oxtail Stew (Stovetop, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker!)
- 3 pounds oxtails
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 large carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 bell peppers seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper habanero
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 tsp dried
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 16 ounces canned butter beans drained
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- Salt and pepper
- 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.
- 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.
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So good! So flavorful. Couldn’t get enough oxtail so I used beef shank. It turned out delicious. I used a slow cooker, it took a good 12 hours but then the meat fell off the bones. So much tastier than traditional beef stew. Will definitely make again.
You didn’t say whether to cook on high medium or low for 2 to 3 hours.
It can stay on medium, as long as it’s not boiling too vigorously. If so, lower the heat to medium-low.
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I followed this recipe and the dish came out Spectacular and So Delicious! The blast of flavor was everything I was looking for! For the first time ever making this I was so pleased and proud of this dish, I will definitely be making again!
I made this in the instapot: this was so flavorful and delicious! I can’t wait to have my leftovers! :) thank you!
This was so incredible!! It was so good that I totally forgot to even do the butter beans or the cornstarch to thicken, we just dug into this and the smell of the oxtails when they were searing at first was super sweet and yummy I wanted to eat it right then. lol. Thank you for sharing this!! It’s going into my recipe rotation.
Pure comfort food! I never thought I would enjoy oxtail so much. This recipe is a keeper!
This stew has so much flavor! Just what I needed on a cool night. Delicious!
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!
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!