Jamaican Oxtail

Total Time

Prep Time: 35 min. Cook Time: 4 hours


4 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023


  • 2-1/2 pounds oxtails
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon browning sauce, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1/4 to 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeded finely chopped


  1. In a small bowl bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Add oxtails to a shallow dish; rub mixture over oxtails. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium heat. In batches, brown oxtails on all sides; set oxtails aside. In the same pan, add onions, carrots and pepper; cook and stir until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Add beef broth to pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Add oxtails, potatoes, thyme and rosemary. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until oxtail meat is tender and starting to fall away from bones, 2-1/2-3 hours. Remove and discard herbs. Remove oxtails; keep warm. Simmer, uncovered, until mixture reaches desired thickness, 5-10 minutes. Return oxtails to pan. If desired, garnish with parsley.
Jamaican Oxtail Tips

Do you have to clean oxtails before cooking?

In the Caribbean, it's customary to clean most meats before cooking. To clean your oxtails, simply add 1-2 capfuls of vinegar to a bowl of water, and then add your oxtails. With the oxtails added, swish them around in the mixture and then rinse. When you're done, dry the meat with some paper towels.

How do you make oxtail tender?

To make a great braised Jamaican oxtail dish, the meat needs to be perfectly tender. The quickest way to tenderize your oxtail is to use a pressure cooker. If you don't have a pressure cooker, slowly cooking the oxtails on the stove for 3 to 4 hours will also do the trick. Or turn tenderizing oxtails into a one-pot meal by making oxtail soup.

What should you serve with this Jamaican oxtail recipe?

Oxtail is a popular meat for special occasions in Jamaica. For those special occasions, it's typically served with rice and peas—one of several traditional Jamaican dishes—but like many other types of meat, it's completely customizable when it comes to sides. Oxtails also pair well with mashed potatoes, white rice and potato salad. Pick your next side from this list of best sides to serve with stew.

How do you store Jamaican oxtail?

To prepare your Jamaican oxtail recipe ahead of time, be sure to season the meat, add it to a freezer bag and freeze until it's time to cook. Have leftovers? Keep them fresh by sealing them in an airtight container and tuck them away in the refrigerator for a few days.

—Candi Rookwood, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nutrition Facts

2 oxtails with 1/2 cup potato mixture: 460 calories, 26g fat (9g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 2770mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 37g protein.