Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Dive into the heart of Caribbean cuisine with our Jamaican Oxtail Stew! This dish is a true celebration of soulful flavors and hearty cooking. Each time I’ve prepared this stew, it has been a delightful journey of aromas and tastes. The oxtails, simmered slowly, become irresistibly tender, absorbing the rich blend of Caribbean spices. The addition of vegetables and butter beans adds a comforting texture and depth to the stew. The optional Scotch bonnet pepper brings a hint of heat, making this dish a warm and satisfying meal. It’s perfect for those who love to explore the robust and vibrant flavors of Jamaican cuisine. 🌶️❤️


  • 3 pounds oxtails
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 2 stalks scallion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can butter beans, drained
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, whole (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the oxtails on all sides, then remove and set aside.
  3. Sauté onion and garlic in the same pot until fragrant and translucent.
  4. Return oxtails to the pot, adding carrots, potatoes, scallion, thyme, and Scotch bonnet pepper if desired.
  5. Pour in water and beef broth, covering the oxtails. Bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours until the oxtails are tender.
  7. Add butter beans and simmer for 15 more minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: Approximately 600 calories per serving.

Additional Tips

  • For an authentic flavor, marinate the oxtails overnight in a mixture of garlic, scallion, and thyme.
  • If the stew is too fatty, let it cool and skim off the excess fat.
  • Serve with rice and peas or steamed white rice to soak up the delicious sauce.
  • The Scotch bonnet pepper adds heat; remove it if you prefer a milder stew.

FAQ Section

  1. Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe? Yes, after browning the oxtails and sautéing the onions and garlic, transfer everything to a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  2. How can I make the stew less spicy? Omit the Scotch bonnet pepper or add it whole without piercing to infuse the stew with flavor without too much heat.
  3. Can I replace butter beans with another type of bean? Yes, kidney beans or black beans make good substitutes, though butter beans are traditional.
  4. What if I can’t find oxtails? Beef short ribs can be used as an alternative, though the flavor and texture will be slightly different.
  5. Is it necessary to peel the potatoes? Peeling is optional. Leaving the skin on adds texture and nutrients.
  6. Can I add more vegetables to the stew? Yes, feel free to include additional vegetables like sweet potatoes or bell peppers for more flavor and nutrition.
  7. How do I store leftovers? Cool the stew quickly and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  8. Can I use fresh thyme instead of dried? Yes, fresh thyme will add a brighter, more aromatic flavor to the stew.
  9. What’s the best way to serve Jamaican Oxtail Stew? Serve hot over white rice, rice and peas, or with a side of steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
  10. How can I ensure the meat is tender? The key to tender oxtail is slow cooking at a low temperature. Don’t rush the simmering process.

Jamaican Oxtail Stew is a hearty, flavorful dish that brings the taste of the Caribbean right to your dinner table. Its rich sauce, tender meat, and wholesome vegetables make it a perfect meal for any occasion. Follow these tips and FAQs to ensure your stew is a hit, and enjoy the process of bringing a piece of Jamaican culinary tradition into your home.