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Authentic Jamaican Oxtails: A Flavorful Delight

Today, we're diving into the rich and tantalizing world of Jamaican oxtails. This traditional dish is known for its tender meat, bold flavors, and hearty satisfaction. Join us as we guide you step-by-step through the process of creating a mouthwatering pot of Jamaican oxtails that will transport you to the vibrant island of Jamaica.


3 to 4 pounds of oxtails

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups beef broth

2 cups water

2 scallions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional, for added heat)

Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish


Step 1: Preparing the Oxtails

Start by carefully trimming any excess fat from the oxtails. Season them generously with salt and black pepper, ensuring each piece is coated evenly.

Step 2: Browning the Oxtails

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned oxtails to the pot, working in batches if needed, and brown them on all sides. This step helps enhance the flavor and texture of the meat. Once browned, transfer the oxtails to a plate and set them aside.

Step 3: Building Flavor

In the same pot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme leaves, and allspice. Sauté the mixture for about 3-4 minutes until the onions become translucent and release their fragrance. This aromatic foundation sets the stage for the bold flavors to come.

Step 4: Creating the Base

Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, allowing them to combine with the sautéed ingredients. Next, pour in the beef broth and water, bringing the mixture to a gentle boil. This forms a robust base for your oxtails to simmer in.

Step 5: Simmering to Perfection

Return the browned oxtails to the pot, ensuring they are submerged in the flavorful liquid. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot, allowing the oxtails to simmer gently for approximately 2 to 3 hours. This slow cooking method ensures the meat becomes tender and succulent, while the flavors develop and intensify.

Step 6: Adding the Finishing Touches

Once the oxtails are tender, it's time to add the final ingredients to complete the dish. Toss in the chopped scallions, carrots, potatoes, and if you desire an extra kick, the scotch bonnet pepper. Cover the pot once again and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Step 7: Taste and Adjust

Take a moment to taste the rich, flavorful sauce. Adjust the seasoning as needed with additional salt and pepper to suit your preferences.

Step 8: Serving the Jamaican Oxtails

The moment has arrived to plate up your Jamaican oxtails. Carefully remove the scotch bonnet pepper (if used) and discard it. Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro or parsley to add a touch of freshness and color. Jamaican oxtails are traditionally served alongside rice and peas

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