So fall-off-the-bone tender and succulent are these Jamaican stewed oxtails; slowly braised in a ton of flavorful aromatics and extra hearty with carrots and butter beans. This Caribbean recipe is a perfect and comforting dish to make anytime! Pair along with rice and peas for a complete West Indian meal!

Jamaican stewed oxtails in pink bowls on pink surface

Listen, it has been such a day, a week, a month, and a year huh! I was literally talking to my sister the other day about everything going on in the world; and what a blessing it is to still be relatively okay. Hello, perspective! But friends, just look at us pushing through and holding our heads up; we gon’ be alright.

And if there is one thing I know for sure, it is that food will always help us overcome, ha! Food brings comfort and food is love. Around these parts there will be zero shame/guilt when it comes to food and emotions, mmkay. Y’all, I’m so happy to finally bring my Jamaican stewed oxtails recipe to you. Talk about comfort food at its finest, a big ole pot of stewed oxtails are always just that for ya girl! Ayyeee, now let’s discuss!

jamaican stewed oxtails in large white pot with wood spoon

Ingredients For Jamaican Stewed Oxtails

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Oxtail, cleaned/cut into pieces: found in Caribbean markets.
  • Aromatics: white onion, garlic, fresh ginger, scallions, carrots.
  • Seasonings/Spices/Herbs: kosher salt, black pepper, curry powder, smoked paprika, allspice, bay leaves, fresh thyme, brown sugar, and scotch bonnet pepper (optional).
  • Grace browning: typically found in Caribbean markets and in regular grocery stores in the “international/ethnic” aisle; this sauce is used to deepen flavors of soups/stews and enhance the color.
  • Other condiments: worcestershire and ketchup.
  • Oil: My recipe calls for vegetable oil but feel free to use canola, avocado, and/or grapeseed oil…or basically any other high-heat cooking oil.
  • Chicken stock: you can also use beef or vegetable stock as well.
  • Butter beans: alternates include navy beans, great northern beans, and cannellini beans.

What Is Oxtail?

Oxtail refers to the tail of any cattle, most notably, a cow. Some refer to it as the tail of an ox but pretty much oxtail is sourced from just cattle tails. Oxtail tastes just like beef with an extra amount of fat and a gelatinous bite to it, kind of like english-cut short ribs. Additionally, because of the fattiness, oxtails are perfect for stews and braising. They hold up nicely with heavier gravy bases and are so incredibly tender.

jamaican stewed oxtails with rice and peas and plantain in pink bowl

The Best Jamaican Stewed Oxtails Recipe

Yes indeed, this here is the only stewed oxtails recipe that you need! So much intense flavor is found here built from the spices and aromatics. And if you know, you know: the oxtail gravy is where it’s at! The gravy clings to the super tender oxtails and soaks up into the meat, it is divine. In addition, this recipe is nice and filling from not only the oxtail meat but also carrots and butter beans. These extra stewed oxtail elements provide that signature Jamaican-restaurant vibe but homemade. Sooo delicious and comforting!

The process of making stewed oxtails is easy. For starters, you begin by cleansing the oxtails to remove any extra hairs/grime. I typically clean my oxtails my placing them in a large bowl filled with water, a touch of vinegar, and a few lemon slices. Cleansing your meat is somewhat controversial, however, I was raised in a Caribbean household where this process was always done. Feel free to do as you wish. Next, you’ll marinate the meat and allow it to sit in those flavors for a few hours or overnight. After that, brown the meat in oil for a nice sear throughout the oxtails. Then add in the liquid components and let the mixture slowly braise together. Near then end of the cooking process is when you’ll add in the carrots and butter beans.

Other Great Recipes To Try

black hand with black fork taking piece of Jamaican stewed oxtails in bowl

Making Jamaican stewed oxtails is so very simple, my friends. A lot of the magic happens when the oxtails absorb and stew in all that delicious flavor. You literally just marinate the oxtails, sear them for brownness, and let the pot cook up! BOOM. While this recipe, like many stewed oxtail recipes, contains quite a few ingredients; I promise you that all of them are worth it! Therefore, please do not be put off by the ingredients list, ha! Whenever I visit my local Caribbean market or Jamaican restaurant, stewed oxtails is usually the first thing I’m aiming for. However, just don’t ask the clerk for extra oxtail gravy >> I warned you! LOL. There is truly nothing like a heaping plate full of this hearty and cozy deliciousness, y’all.

Oxtail Stew Or Stewed Oxtails

You will find that this one is the case of different strokes for different folks. Meaning that some people call this dish oxtail stew and others call it stewed oxtails. I’ve always known this signature Jamaican dish to be called stewed oxtails from my own personal experience. Although, you can surely call it as you wish.

Storing Jamaican Stewed Oxtails

Leftovers are one of my favorite things! Store these stewed oxtails in an airtight container and they will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop as necessary. If needed, add in some additional stock or water to help loosen gravy. The flavors deepen too, yum!

Can I Make This In A Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can make these stewed oxtails in a slow cooker! Although, you will need to still sear the oxtails in oil on the stovetop for brownness. After which you can then transfer everything except the carrots/beans into a slow cooker and cook on the lowest setting for 6-8 hours or longer, until oxtails are tender.

black hand holding the side of large white pot full of stewed oxtails

Sharing this recipe has been a long time coming. Caribbean recipes are my favorite and I wanted this one to be perfect. A plate of stewed oxtails, rice and peas, and plantains is one of my all time faves…that and washing it all down with a good ole D&G pineapple soda, too. I hope you all enjoy this dish just the same.




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black hand holding the side of large white pot full of stewed oxtails

Jamaican Stewed Oxtails

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 3hr
  • Total Time: 3hr 20m
  • Yield: 5-6 1x
  • Category: Main entrée
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Jamaican


Tender and succulent are these Jamaican stewed oxtails.This Caribbean recipe is a perfect and comforting dish to make anytime! Pair along with rice and peas for a complete West Indian meal!


  • 3 lbs oxtails, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Grace browning
  • 3 teaspoons worcestershire 
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Jamaican allspice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small scotch bonnet pepper, left whole- optional
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) canned butter beans


  1. Cleanse oxtails: Place oxtails into a large bowl and cleanse meat with a splash of vinegar and fill bowl with water. If you have fresh lemon, you can add some lemon slices to the water bowl too. Stir together and allow oxtails to sit in bath for at least 30 minutes. Then drain, discard lemon, and use paper towels to pat dry oxtails. Rewash the same bowl and place cleansed oxtails inside.
  2. Marinate oxtails: Season oxtails with Grace browning all the way through Jamaican allspice ingredient. Use your hands to massage all ingredients into oxtails thoroughly. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and transfer the bowl into the refrigerator to marinate for 3 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Sear oxtails: In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat up oil over medium-high heat. Take oxtails out of the refrigerator and use your hands or tongs to shake excess marinade off but do not discard marinade in bowl. Sear the oxtails in oil; in batches, until a deeply brown crisp crust appears on the meat, about 4-5 minutes each side and transfer oxtails to a plate. Repeat process until all oxtails are seared and back into the pot: oxtails will not be fully cooked through.
  4. Stew oxtails: Add chicken stock, water, all of the reserved marinade, and scotch bonnet pepper (if using) into the same pot, stirring well to fully combine. Cover pot with lid and allow oxtails to stew together for 2 to 2 1/2 hours over medium-low heat, stirring every 30 minutes or so. Oxtail meat should be extra tender. If opting to use a slow cooker, see below note for directions.
  5. Add carrots/beans: Add in carrots and beans into the pot, stir well to fully combine. Let carrots/beans cook up until tender, about 25-30 minutes longer. 
  6. Serve: Discard bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and scotch bonnet pepper from vessel. Serve Jamaican stewed oxtails alongside rice and peas, or as desired. Enjoy!


  1. Storing: Stewed oxtails will keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  2. To thicken oxtail gravy: Combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water; mix well until cornstarch is dissolved and stir into pot. 
  3. Slow cooker directions: Follow recipe as written through step #3. After searing the oxtails, transfer them into a slow cooker with the stock, water, and reserved marinade. Allow to slow cook on the lowest setting for 6-8 hours or longer, until oxtails are tender. Then add in carrots/beans and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and scotch bonnet, and serve.

Keywords: oxtail, stew, jamaican, braising