Jamaican Oxtail Stew

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5 from 1 vote

Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Jamaican oxtail stew was introduced to me from a friend who fell in love with it while living in Jamaica, Queens. This recipe is actually quite simple even thought it has an exhausting ingredient list. I like to finish this dish in my Instant pot so I can cut the cook time down to 1 hour and then I just reduce the sauce for service.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 lbs oxtail cut and trimmed into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 4 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon green seasoning
  • 1 15 oz Can tomatoes petite diced
  • 1 Onion sliced thin
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper fresh ground
  • 1 whole Habenero or Scotch Bonnet Pepper if you can get it
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 cups Water


  • Start by placing the cut pieces of oxtail in a large bowl with the lime or lemon juice. Pour some water (not the water mentioned in the recipe) in the bowl and wash each piece of oxtail. To remove any grit from the cut bones left on the meat. Rinse with cold water as need. Drain and get ready for seasoning.
  • Combine of all the ingredients mentioned above, except the oil, sugar and 4 cups of water with the meat. Mix well and allow this to marinate for at least 2 hrs in the fridge.
  • Bring the oil to a high temp in a heavy pot and add the brown sugar. Let the sugar melt and gain some color. Stir so the entire lot changes colour evenly and get to a caramel colour, so each piece of oxtail will get browned evenly.
  • When the sugar is dark caramel color but not black, start adding the seasoned pieces of oxtail without the marinade liquid. Reserve the marinade liquid for later. Stir, then reduce to medium heat and cover. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Then bring the heat back to high and remove lid to reduce the liquid to almost completely dry. Stir during this process so the pieces of meat gets coated evenly.
  • Add the 4 cups of water to the marinade to pick up any remaining seasoning that was left behind. When the liquid dries up in the pot, add the water and marinade mixture.
  • Bring to a boil (covered), then reduce the heat so it’s a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 2 hours. Then remove the lid and so you can achieve a nice thick gravy. Once the meat is fork tender and liquid has become thick the dish is ready.


If you don’t have the green seasoning prepared. Use a combination of green onions (scallions), cilantro, parsley and thyme. About 1 tablespoon each…chopped very fine.

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