clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
jamaican oxtail stew with rice and peas in speckled bowl with gold for on the side

Authentic Jamaican Oxtail Stew

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


You’ll love this authentic Jamaican Oxtail Stew recipe, friends! Heavily marinated oxtail cooked until meltingly tender and falling apart in a rich, aromatic stew loaded with big, bold Caribbean flavors. So filling, cozy, and comforting is this oxtail stew with butter beans in the tastiest gravy. So very easy to make with stovetop, slow cooker, and pressure cooker instructions provided. Video tutorial included, too!


  • 4 lbs (meaty!) fresh beef oxtail, already cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon browning sauce, I use the Grace brand
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire 
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced, or 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, left whole- do not cut!
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14-ounce) can butter beans, liquid drained


  1. Prep & marinate oxtail: Add the oxtail pieces into a large bowl or gallon-sized ziplock bag. Then add in the browning sauce, worcestershire, brown sugar, curry powder, allspice, paprika, salt/pepper- to taste, onion, garlic, ginger, and scallions. Use your hands to massage all the aromatics and spices into the oxtail pieces, massaging very well to ensure the oxtail pieces are thoroughly coated.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid/plastic wrap or seal ziplock bag and transfer to refrigerator to allow flavors to marinate for at least 2 hours or- more preferably, overnight (for the best results!). If marinating overnight, just be sure to go back and stir/massage the oxtail pieces at least once. This will ensure even flavor marination throughout.
  3. Brown oxtail pieces: Remove the oxtail pieces from the marinade mixture, shaking off excess onion/scallion bits- but do not discard the marinade, set aside. Set the oxtail aside on a large plate/platter.
  4. In a large heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven; heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, gently swirl the pot around to evenly coat the bottom. Add a few oxtail pieces into the pot, working in batches, careful not to overcrowd. Sear the oxtail on all sides until a deep brown crust appears, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the browned oxtail onto a clean, large plate/platter and repeat the process until all the oxtail pieces are browned- adding a slick more of oil in between batches, only as needed. Then set the browned oxtail aside and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Add the flavor agents & assemble the stew: Add all the reserved marinade mixture into the same pot along with the tomato paste. Use a wooden utensil to sauté until lightly tender, scraping up any caramelized bits on the bottom of the pot and stirring the paste to coat the marinade, about 4-5 minutes. Then add all browned oxtail pieces back into pot, nestling them right on top of the marinade mixture, along with any residual juices that have collected. Add the carrots, tomato sauce, bay leaves, scotch bonnet pepper, fresh thyme, and beef broth- the oxtail pieces should be almost completely submerged under the liquid. Gently stir everything together until well combined.
  6. Stew the oxtail: Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the oxtail to stew for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, covered- until oxtail pieces are meltingly tender and falling apart.
  7. Add butter beans: Empty the drained can of butter beans into the pot, gently stirring to combine. Let the butter beans cook in the oxtail stew for another 30 minutes until tender.
  8. Adjust stew gravy, if needed: Discard the herb stems, bay leaves, and scotch bonnet pepper from the pot. Skim any fat off the top of the liquid, as needed. If you’d like to thicken the stew gravy in the pot (see notes directly below for cornstarch slurry option), place over medium-high heat. Cook, gently stirring, for a bit until the liquid reaches your desired consistency. Afterwards, taste and adjust with more salt/pepper, as desired.
  9. Serve this Jamaican oxtail stew immediately. I love serving this oxtail stew in shallow bowls with a helping of extra stew gravy and alongside side items like rice and peas and plantains, too. Enjoy!


  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning; slow cooker + pressure cooker instructions provided in blog post.
  2. Alternate way to thicken stew gravy: Remove the oxtails/vegetables, leaving the liquid in the pot. Make a cornstarch slurry in a small bowl (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed until combined). Stir mixture into stew liquid and simmer until gravy thickens, about 5 minutes.

Keywords: oxtail stew, jamaican oxtails, oxtail recipe, beef stew, jamaican food