If you are looking for a delicious and authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe, look no further! Jamaican oxtail is a classic Caribbean dish that has been enjoyed for generations. Made with tender oxtail slow-cooked in a rich and flavorful gravy, this dish is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
This recipe for Jamaican oxtail is easy to follow and produces a mouthwatering dish that is packed with flavor. The key to a great Jamaican oxtail is the marinade, which is made with a blend of spices such as allspice, thyme, and scallions that give the dish its unique and irresistible taste.
Once you have prepared the marinade, the oxtail is slowly cooked to perfection, resulting in a tender and succulent meat that falls off the bone. The dish is typically served with rice and peas, but can also be enjoyed with a variety of other sides such as plantains or yams.
This Jamaican oxtail recipe is a true labor of love, but I promise you, it’s worth every single bite. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it turns out. And if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t be afraid to explore other traditional Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken or ackee and saltfish.
Whether you’re a fan of Caribbean cuisine or simply looking to try something new, this Jamaican oxtail recipe is a must-try. So gather your ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and get ready to savor the taste of authentic Jamaican oxtail.
What Is Oxtail?
Oxtail is a tough cut of meat from the cow’s tail. It is braised or stewed because it requires longer cooking time to become tender. Oxtail is known for its rich, beefy flavor and is used in soups, stews, and braises. They are high in collagen, adding a velvety texture. It makes it perfect for slow-cooking methods, adding richness and depth to your dishes.
The Cultural Significance of Oxtail in Jamaican Cuisine
Jamaicans and oxtail have a fascinating history. During slavery, the enslaved were given undesirable cuts of meat such as the head and tail. Oxtail, considered tough, was often given to the enslaved. But, enslaved people found a way to make a delicious meal from these cuts by slow-cooking the oxtail for hours. This is how oxtail stew was created and became a beloved traditional dish among Jamaicans. Even after slavery, oxtail remained a staple and comfort food in Jamaican cuisine, often served with rice and peas. Its popularity has even spread beyond Jamaica. Oxtail stew is a symbol of how a people can turn something once used as an instrument of oppression into a beloved dish.
Why is Oxtail So Expensive?
- Oxtail is an expensive cut of meat due to several factors:
- Oxtail is a delicacy in many cultures and is in high demand, which can drive up the price.
- Oxtail is a relatively tough cut of meat that requires long cooking times to become tender, which increases the cost of preparing it.
- The cost of farming and raising cattle can also add to the overall expense of oxtail.
- The supply of oxtail can be limited, which can lead to a higher price.
- Oxtail is not a very common meat in many parts of the world and the market for it is smaller compared to more common meat which can drive the price up.
- The process of getting the oxtail ready to be sold can also raise the price, including the process of butchery and packaging.
- The cost of transportation of the product from farmers to the market is also a factor.
- The preparation and ingredients that go into making a traditional oxtail stew also add up.
- If a restaurant or other establishment is serving oxtail, they also have to factor in the cost of labor and overhead, which can drive up the price of the dish.
- Some restaurants, hotels, and other establishments put premium pricing on oxtail since it is considered a delicacy, it is considered a luxury product.
- The quality of the oxtail can also affect the price, with grass-fed, organic, or locally-raised oxtail being more expensive than conventionally-raised oxtail.
- Some regions and countries may have higher import taxes on oxtail, making it more expensive to purchase.
- The demand from other countries for Jamaica’s oxtail can also drive up the price.
- Oxtail is often considered a luxury item, and some purveyors may charge a premium for it.
- The limited access to high-quality oxtail can create a situation where some suppliers are able to charge higher prices.
Keep in mind that some of these reasons may vary depending on the location, region, season, and general market conditions, some points may be more relevant in some places than others. But overall, these are a few factors that contribute to oxtail being an expensive cut of meat globally.
Where To Buy Oxtail?
If you’re looking to buy oxtail, you have a few options. One of the best places to start is your local butcher or meat market. They will likely have fresh oxtail available and can even cut it up for you to make it easier to cook. The butchers also might have more knowledge about the cuts and how to prepare it.
You can also check out your local grocery store or supermarkets. Many supermarkets carry oxtail, but it may be in the frozen section. You can also look for an Asian or African grocery store, as they tend to carry oxtail as well.
Another option is to buy oxtail online, there are several online butcher shop or meat provider that specializes in delivering high-quality meat products, including oxtail, to your doorstep.
It’s always a good idea to check the quality of the meat before you buy it, make sure it looks fresh and has a good color, if it’s frozen then make sure it does not have any ice crystals and has been stored in a well-sealed package.
Storing Fresh Oxtail: What You Need to Know
To store fresh oxtail properly:
- Make sure the oxtail is clean and dry before you store it.
- Wrap the oxtail tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped oxtail in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to keep out any oxygen, light, or odors
- Store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the bottom or back, where the temperature is most consistent.
- If you are not going to use the oxtail within 2-3 days it’s best to freeze it to preserve its quality
- To freeze, wrap the oxtail tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.
- Store the oxtail in the freezer for up to 6 months for the best quality.
- Following these steps can help to prolong the shelf life of your fresh oxtail, ensuring that it stays fresh and flavorful until you’re ready to use it.
Oxtail 101: A Beginner’s Guide To Cooking Delicious And Flavorful Oxtails
If you’ve never cooked oxtail before, don’t worry! It’s a delicious and flavorful cut of meat that is well worth the effort. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Choose the right oxtails: Look for well-marbled oxtails that have a good balance of meat and fat for the best flavor and texture. This will help to keep the oxtails moist and flavorful as they cook.
- Marinate the oxtails: Marinating the oxtails before cooking can help to add flavor and tenderize the meat. In general, it’s recommended to marinate oxtails for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is best. This allows the marinade to fully penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavor.
- Cook at room temperature: Always make sure to take the oxtail out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature before cooking. This will ensure even cooking and prevent the meat from drying out.
- Brown the oxtails: Browning the oxtails before cooking can help to add depth and flavor to the dish. Simply sear the oxtails in a hot pan until they are browned on all sides.
- Slow cook the oxtails: The key to a tender and succulent Jamaican oxtail is to slow cook it over low heat. Oxtails are best cooked low & slow on the stovetop, in the oven, or in a slow cooker. This allows the collagen in the oxtails to break down, making the meat tender and juicy.
- Use a Dutch oven or heavy pot: A Dutch oven or heavy pot will help keep the heat even and prevent the oxtail from burning.
- Add vegetables & butter beans: Adding vegetables such as carrots and onions & buttered beans will help to enhance the flavor of the dish.
- Don’t skimp on the sauce: Jamaican oxtail is known for its rich and flavorful sauce, so don’t be afraid to add extra liquid if needed.
- Serve with traditional sides: Jamaican oxtail is typically served with rice and peas, but can also be enjoyed with a variety of other sides such as plantains or yams.
- Adjust the seasoning: Taste the oxtail as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed to suit your taste.
- Test for doneness: The oxtails are ready when they are tender enough to easily pull apart with a fork. To test for doneness, simply insert a fork into the oxtail and try to gently pull it apart. If the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily, it’s ready to be served.
- By following these tips, you’ll be able to make the best Jamaican oxtail recipe for your family and friends.
Ingredients To Make This Jamaican Oxtail Recipe
Beef oxtail: This is the main ingredient in the recipe and provides the meaty flavor and texture of the dish. It is typically cut into 1-inch rounds.
Pimento seeds: also known as allspice, these crushed seeds are used to add a sweet, warm, and aromatic flavor to the dish.
Scallions: Also known as green onions, these are used to add a subtle onion flavor to the dish. They are typically chopped and used as a garnish.
Onions: Sliced and divided, half used to season the meat and half used for cooking
Fresh Thyme: This herb is used to add a flavorful and aromatic touch to the dish. Half of it is used to season the meat, while the other half is used in the cooking process.
Bay leaves: These dried leaves are used to infuse the dish with a woodsy and earthy flavor.
Ginger: ginger is used to add a pungent and spicy flavor to the dish.
Caribbean Green Seasoning: This is a blend of seasonings used to marinate the meat, it typically contains a variety of herbs and spices.
All-Purpose seasoning: a seasoning blend used to add flavor to the dish.
Garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika: Used to add additional flavor to the dish
Salt and black pepper: Used to season the dish to taste
Browning: A dark sauce used to enhance the color and flavor of the meat
Soy sauce: A salty and savory ingredient used to add umami flavor to the stew
Oyster sauce: a savory and flavorful sauce used to enhance the taste of the stew
Tomato ketchup: Used to add a sweet-tangy flavor to the stew
Carrots: Cut in rounds and added for texture and sweetness
Buttered beans, also known as lima beans, enhance the texture and taste of Jamaican oxtail stew. They make the dish more filling and satisfying. These beans are often cooked into the stew, which is typically served over rice, and this is a common combination in the Jamaican cuisine.
Vegetable oil: Used for cooking and searing the meat
Butter: Adds flavor + enhance the richness of the stew
Hot water: used to speed up the cooking process.
Spinners: small dumplings that are added to the stew, optional
All-purpose flour & water: used to make the spinners.
Distilled white vinegar and cold water: used to rinse the meat before cooking.
How To Make This Jamaican Oxtail Recipe
- First things first, let’s prep the meat. If needed, trim up the oxtail and cut it into 1-inch round pieces. If you’re feeling lazy, you can even ask your butcher to do this for you at the time of purchase. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of time and energy because those bones can be tough to cut through.
- Next, we’re going to give the oxtail a little vinegar bath. Rinse it in a mixture of vinegar and water, making sure it’s fully covered. Let it sit in there for at least a minute, then give it a good rinse with fresh water to get rid of that vinegar smell. Drain the oxtail and let it sit in a bowl for a couple of minutes to let any excess liquid drain off. Then pat it dry with a clean paper towel.
- Now it’s time to add some flavor! In the bowl with the oxtail, throw in some scallions, thyme, bay leaves, ginger, allspice berries, green seasoning, vegetable oil, all-purpose seasoning, salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika, soy sauce, browning, and onions. Give it all a good massage to make sure the seasoning really gets into the meat.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least two hours, but overnight is even better. The longer it marinates, the more flavorful it’ll be.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Pour about 2 cups of water into the bowl you marinated the oxtail in, swish it around to get all the marinade, and pour it into the pot with the oxtail. Add enough water to just cover the meat, and cook for 1-1.5 hours until it’s tender.
- Check on it every 30 minutes and add more water as needed to keep the level consistent.
- While the oxtail is cooking, prep the carrots and make the spinners, and set them aside.
- When the oxtail is almost tender, add the carrots and remaining onions, scallions, thyme, and butter and cook until the carrots are tender.
- Taste and adjust as needed.
- Add the scotch bonnet peppers, the remaining thyme, and some browning to deepen (caramelize) the color of the stew.
- Increase the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.
- At the 10-minute mark, add the butter beans, oyster sauce, ketchup, and black pepper and do a taste test, adjusting as needed.
- Allow the broth to reduce into a thick, rich, and silky gravy. Keep an eye on the oxtail’s tenderness and when it’s just right, it’s time to eat!
Jamaican Oxtail Recipe Video
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Oxtail cut of beef is typically used for Jamaican oxtail recipes. This cut comes from the tail of the cow and is composed of meat, fat, and bone.
Slow cooking is the traditional method to cook Jamaican oxtail, which usually takes between 3-4 hours. It depends on your oven or slow cooker.
Yes, you can make Jamaican oxtail in a pressure cooker, it will cut down the cooking time, which usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
Yes, you can make Jamaican oxtail in advance, in fact, it’s often recommended as the flavors will meld together even more as it sits in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Substitutions & Additions
Caribbean Green seasoning: It’s a blend of seasonings, you can use your own blend of herbs and spices if you can’t find it or make your own.
While oxtail is the traditional cut of beef used in Jamaican oxtail recipes, turkey necks can be used as a substitute for oxtail in stews. They are known as u0022ghetto oxtailu0022 in Jamaica because they are more affordable than oxtails. Turkey necks are prepared and cooked the same way as oxtail stew, resulting in a flavorful and tender stew. other cuts such as beef shank or short ribs can be used as a substitute.
Just be mindful, the final taste of the dish will be different from the traditional Jamaican oxtail stew.
Yes, you can substitute chicken or beef broth for water in a Jamaican oxtail recipe. Using broth instead of water can add additional flavor to the stew. The chicken broth will add a milder flavor while beef broth will add a deeper and more robust flavor.
If using broth, you can reduce the amount of salt you add to the recipe, as the broth is usually already salted. It is also a good idea to taste the broth before using it, some broths are more intense than others, so you might want to use less or even dilute it with water if it is too strong.
Keep in mind that broth can also change the texture of the stew, making it more liquid than if you used water.
If fresh thyme is not available, dried thyme can be used as a substitute. Use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme for every 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme.
If fresh ginger is not available, you can use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger as a substitute for every 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger.
If pimento seeds are not available, you can use ground allspice as a substitute.
Canola oil or another neutral-tasting oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.
Variations & Twists
You’ll love this tasty twist on the classic oxtail recipe! Red wine braised oxtail – The oxtail is slowly cooked in a rich and flavorful red wine sauce, resulting in tender and succulent meat that falls off the bone.
Another variation is to add some heat to the stew by incorporating scotch bonnet peppers or other hot peppers, this will give the stew an extra kick of spiciness.
You can also try to use different liquids such as beer to add a different layer of flavor to the stew, it will make it richer and more complex.
What Are Spinners?
Jamaican spinners are a unique type of dumpling that will take your soups and stews to the next level! Unlike traditional dumplings that are light and fluffy, these spinners are dense and hearty. They’re called “spinners and sinkers” because of their elongated shape and tendency to sink and spin in the broth while cooking.
Making spinners is a breeze, all you need is flour and water. Some recipes might call for a bit of cornmeal for added texture. Not only are they easy to make, but they’re a fun project for the whole family to get in on. The spinners can be shaped in any way you’d like, letting kids and adults alike get creative.
You’ll most often find Jamaican spinners cooked in soups and stews, like this delicious Jamaican-style shrimp soup recipe. These versatile dumplings can also be boiled and served as a side dish, perfect for those who don’t want to eat them in soups or stews – serving them with a little butter and salt. Trust me, these spinners will be a new addition to your recipe rotation!
Do You Have To Brown Oxtails Before Cooking?
One important step to consider when making this flavorful and hearty dish is browning the oxtails. Browning helps to caramelize the surface of the meat, adding depth and richness to the overall flavor.
This is achieved through the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between the amino acids and sugars in the meat that produces new flavors and aromas. While it’s not strictly necessary to brown the oxtails before cooking, it can definitely enhance the flavor of the final dish and is highly recommended.
Of course, if you’re short on time or just don’t feel like it, you can skip the browning step. The oxtails will still turn out tasty, but they may not have as much depth of flavor. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your personal preference.
How Long Does It Take For Oxtails To Get Tender?
The answer is, it depends on the cooking method you choose.
If you’re cooking the oxtails on the stovetop or in an oven, it will typically take 2-3 hours for them to become tender. This is because the low and slow cooking method allows the collagen in the oxtails to break down, making the meat tender and juicy.
On the other hand, if you’re using a slow cooker or an Instant Pot, it will take slightly less time to cook the oxtails to tender perfection. In a slow cooker, it will take about 9-10 hours on the low setting. In an Instant Pot, it will take about 30-45 minutes on the high-pressure setting.
Both of these cooking methods use moist heat, which helps to speed up the tenderization process and ensure that the oxtails come out juicy and flavorful. So whether you prefer the convenience of a slow cooker or the speed of an Instant Pot, you can still enjoy delicious and tender oxtails in no time!”
The key is to cook the oxtails until they are tender enough to easily pull apart with a fork. To test for doneness, simply insert a fork into the oxtail and try to gently pull it apart. If the meat is tender and falls off the bone easily, it’s ready to be served. If it’s still tough and difficult to pull apart, it will need to cook for a bit longer.
How Long Does It Take To Marinate Oxtails?
In general, it’s recommended to marinate oxtails for at least 4-6 hours, overnight is best. This allows the marinade to fully penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavor.
However, if you’re in a rush and don’t have time to marinate the oxtails for that long, you can still get some flavor by marinating them for a shorter period of time. Even just 20-30 minutes of marinating can make a difference.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and your personal preference. You can marinate the oxtails for as little or as long as you’d like, just keep in mind that the longer you marinate them, the more flavorful they will be.
Here are 5 side dishes to pair with oxtails:
Looking for some tasty side dishes to go with those oxtails? No problem! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Rice and peas, plain rice, polenta, Rasta pasta, and potatoes. Roasted or steamed vegetables are also a great option. Choose sides that complement the flavors of the oxtails and balance out the meal.
Looking for some side dishes to go with those delicious oxtails? No problem! Oxtails are a rich and flavorful cut of meat that pairs well with a variety of side dishes
Ultimately, the key is to choose side dishes that will complement the flavors of the oxtails and balance out the meal
How To Store Your Leftover Oxtail
If you have leftover oxtails, don’t worry, they’ll keep just fine in the fridge for a few days. Just make sure to store them properly to ensure that they stay fresh and tasty.
First, let the oxtails cool down to room temperature. You don’t want to put hot food into the fridge, as it can raise the temperature inside and potentially cause other items to spoil. Once the oxtails are cool, transfer them to an airtight container with a lid. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap, freezer bags, or aluminum foil to help keep them fresh.
Next, place the container in the fridge and store it for up to three days. If you’d like to keep the oxtails for longer, you can also freeze them. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen oxtails will keep for up to three months.
That’s it! Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be able to enjoy your leftover oxtails for days to come.
Make sure the leftovers have cooled down to room temperature before storing.
Need To Reheat?
If you have leftover oxtails that you’d like to reheat, it’s actually quite simple. The key is to make sure that you heat them up slowly and gently so that they don’t dry out or become tough.
One option is to reheat the oxtails in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the oxtails on a baking sheet. Cover them loosely with aluminum foil to help keep them moist, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Alternatively, you can also reheat the oxtails on the stovetop. Place them in a pot with a lid, add a splash of broth or water to help keep them moist, and heat over low heat until they are heated. This method works particularly well if you have leftover gravy or sauce that you’d like to reheat along with the oxtails.
And if you’re short on time, you can also use the microwave to reheat the oxtails. Just be sure to use a microwave-safe container, and microwave the oxtails in short bursts, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through.
That’s it! With these simple methods, you’ll be able to enjoy your leftover oxtails in no time.
If you’re a fan of oxtail, then you’ll definitely want to check out these other oxtail recipes! From classic braises to spicy stews, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re in the mood for something a little different, be sure to browse The Recipe Index for even more tasty options. There are plenty of krave-worthy options to choose from!
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