Stewed Oxtails Recipe
I was born and raised in Trinidad and now that I’ve been living in the US for most of my life I have days where I long for the days of my childhood and growing up in the Caribbean. One of the biggest things I miss after my family and friends of course is the food. Everything is just so different as far as food goes. The fruits are different, we use different vegetables and some of the meat we would eat is considered weird for lots of people here. My husband is American but dating and marrying a woman from the islands means he has tried some of our foods either from my mother cooking it, Caribbean restaurants or when we go to festivals. One of his favorites is Stewed Oxtails and since he liked it so much I had to learn how to make it once I saw the Oxtails at one of our local supermarkets.
Everyone makes their oxtails different and I didn’t know for my first try if I wanted to try a Trinidad or Jamaican version, I searched the web and found one on TriniGourmet that I loved and decided that’s the one I was going to use. The key to any good island stew is browning. You can buy this stuff in a bottle or you can do it the old fashioned way with oil and brown sugar.
Heat the oil in a large stew pot. Make sure it gets nice and hot. I recommend if you have a fan over your oven to put it on and open a window if you are using this method.
Season your oxtails at least an hour before cooking. Put it in the refrigerator to marinate. Pull it out while your oil is heating up.
Pour the sugar in the oil and keep stirring it in the pot. Don’t leave your pot unattended. This stuff can burn easily so continue to stir until it’s a chocolate brown color. It will smokey so make sure you have a window open or a fan running.
Pour the oxtails in the pan and mix it up so they all get coated with brown sauce. Stir for about a minute or two and add your water or beef stock to the pot. Reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer.
I added potatoes and carrots to mines but you don’t have to add them to yours. You want to cook the oxtails until they are soft and tender. You can tell because they will start to fall off the bone.
Serve over white rice while warm and enjoy.
I hope you give this recipe a try and be sure to pin it for later.
|Prep time||3 hours|
|Cook time||2 hours|
|Total time||5 hours|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
- marinade for oxtails (see recipe in notes)
- 2lb oxtail pieces
- 4 potatoes (peeled and cut in cubes)
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 Small carrots (sliced)
- 4 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tablespoon chopped chive
1 tablespoon chopped culantro
4 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp Angostura bitters
1 tbsp ketchup
All these items are easy to find the bitters can be found in the section of the supermarket that has items for making drinks. If you can't find it use soy sauce. Follow the marinade steps in the recipe to make and apply to oxtail pieces.
|Puree marinade ingredients in food processor/blender|
|Combine with oxtail pieces|
|Marinate (preferably 4 hours - minimum 1 hour)|
|Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.|
|Add sugar to oil and allow to cook until it turns caramel in color|
|Immediately add oxtail pieces (along with all of the marinade). – If the sugar seizes up at this point that’s perfectly normal it will dissolve|
|Stir until the oxtail pieces are well-coated and continue to brown for 3- 5 minutes, stirring regularly.|
|Add the 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer.|
|Add the potatoes and carrots. Cover.|
|Allow to cook until oxtails are tender, stirring occasionally. (This can take anywhere from 2-4 hours. Check at the 2 hour point for fork tenderness)|
|Add more liquid if needed (you want a thick, shiny gravy) and season with salt and black pepper to taste. This is the first time you’re adding additional seasoning so don’t be afraid to be liberal!|
|Simmer, covered, for an additional 30 minutes.|