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Jamaican Oxtail Stew

I first tasted this dish in Kingston, Jamaica, at a colorful local restaurant called The Pepperpot. I was really surprised by the brightness of flavor and for a moment both Craig, my assistant, and I were stumped. The assertive flavor of allspice was so obvious that we missed it. This recipe is close to what is served at this wonderful restaurant.

Cuisine: Jamaican
Type: Meat
Courses: Soup
Serves: 4 people

Recipe Ingredients

1/3 cup 53g / 1.9ozDried small white beans
1 tablespoon 15mlVegetable oil
3 lbs 1362g / 48ozBeef oxtails
3   Garlic cloves - peeled and crushed
1   Yellow onion - peeled and diced (medium)
1   Tomato - diced (medium)
2 cups 474mlCanned beef stock
2 cups 474mlWater - (approximately)
2 tablespoons 30mlFreshly ground allspice - or to taste
  Salt - to taste
  Freshly-ground black pepper - to taste
  Tabasco sauce - to taste

Recipe Instructions

Place beans in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup of the water, bring to a boil, covered, then turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 1 hour, covered, then drain.

Brown the oxtails well in the oil. Place the oxtails in a 6-quart stove-top casserole. Add the garlic, onion and tomato. Add the beef stock and enough water so it just covers the contents of the pot. Add the allspice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 3 1/2 hours, adding the drained beans after 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Remove the lid during the last hour of cooking if you want a thicker sauce. Be careful the pot does not dry out. Season with salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. This recipe serves 4 to 5.

THE FRUGAL GOURMET by Jeff Smith - From the 01-16-1991 issue - The Springfield Union-News


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