Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Savor the Flavors of the Caribbean: Jamaican Oxtail Stew

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Prepare to embark on a culinary journey to the vibrant streets of Jamaica with our tantalizing Jamaican Oxtail Stew recipe. Bursting with rich flavors and aromatic spices, this hearty stew is a celebration of Caribbean cuisine at its finest. Slow-cooked to perfection, tender oxtails are simmered in a savory broth infused with traditional Jamaican seasonings, creating a dish that will transport your taste buds to paradise. Follow along as we guide you through the steps to create this soul-warming delicacy.

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  • 3 pounds oxtails, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce (optional for color)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and chopped (use gloves and handle with care!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (also known as pimento)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinate the Oxtails:
    • In a large bowl, combine the oxtails with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and browning sauce (if using). Toss to coat the oxtails evenly in the marinade. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for deeper flavor.
  2. Sear the Oxtails:
    • Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the oxtails in batches and sear them on all sides until browned. Remove the oxtails from the pot and set aside.
  3. Saute Aromatics:
    • In the same pot, add chopped onion, sliced green onions, minced ginger, minced garlic, and chopped Scotch bonnet pepper. Saute until the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add Seasonings:
    • Stir in dried thyme, allspice, and sugar, and cook for another minute to toast the spices and enhance their flavors.
  5. Simmer the Stew:
    • Return the seared oxtails to the pot and pour in beef broth, ensuring the oxtails are submerged. Bring the stew to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, or until the oxtails are tender and falling off the bone.
  6. Add Vegetables:
    • Add sliced carrots and drained butter beans to the pot. Continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  7. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the stew and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Remove any excess fat that rises to the surface.
  8. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Ladle the Jamaican Oxtail Stew into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired. Serve with rice, Jamaican dumplings, or crusty bread for a complete meal.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Slow Cooker Method: To make this stew in a slow cooker, follow steps 1 and 2, then transfer the seared oxtails and sauteed aromatics to a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (except for carrots and butter beans), cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Add carrots and butter beans during the last hour of cooking.
  • Vegetarian Version: For a vegetarian version of this stew, substitute oxtails with chunks of seitan or mushrooms, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Coconut Milk Addition: For a creamy twist, add a can of coconut milk to the stew along with the beef broth. This will impart a rich and velvety texture to the dish.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of Scotch bonnet pepper according to your preference for heat. You can also remove the seeds for a milder flavor.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: To make this recipe keto-friendly, omit the sugar and butter beans. Serve the stew over cauliflower rice or enjoy it on its own as a hearty low-carb meal.
  • Low-Carb Version: Follow the keto version adjustments and ensure that the beef broth used is low in carbohydrates or make your own homemade broth to control the carb content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of meat instead of oxtails? A: Yes, you can substitute oxtails with beef shank, beef chuck, or short ribs for a similar result. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the cut of meat you choose.

Q: What is browning sauce, and can I omit it? A: Browning sauce is a flavoring agent used to deepen the color of the stew. While it’s optional, it adds a rich hue to the dish. If you prefer, you can omit it, but the stew may have a lighter color.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or freeze it for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

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Jamaican Oxtail Stew is a celebration of bold flavors and comforting aromas that embody the essence of Caribbean cuisine. With its tender oxtails, aromatic spices, and hearty vegetables, this stew is a true soul-warming delight. Whether enjoyed on a chilly evening or served as a special occasion dish, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate. So gather your ingredients and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Jamaica with this irresistible stew!

Dive into the tantalizing world of Caribbean cuisine with our Jamaican Oxtail Stew—a dish that promises to transport you to the sun-drenched shores of Jamaica with every spoonful. With its rich flavors and comforting warmth, this stew is a culinary masterpiece that deserves a place in your recipe collection. So don’t wait any longer—bring a taste of the tropics into your kitchen today!

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