I know I’m not Jamaican but I can cook a mean oxtail stew, Jamaican style. Two years ago when I moved to Colorado, one day I just had a craving for the oxtail stew my cousin and I got from the little Jamaican cook shop at Flatbush junction in Brooklyn. This was the best oxtail stew I ever tasted. It had the right amount of fat, tenderness and gravy. So I tried to replicate it. First going off of my own taste buds and then by looking up authentic Jamaican oxtail recipes online. Soon I realized that oxtail stew was very similar to Guyanese beef stew, with the exception of all spice. All spice is what gave oxtail stew it’s unique Jamaican flavor. If you’re not sure what all spice it just do a quick internet search. So my recipe follows my typical Guyanese beef stew recipe with loads of all spice!
The key to flavorful oxtail stew, is to marinate the oxtail overnight…
Oxtail Stew (Serves 6)
3lbs oxtail (most of fat trimmed from meat)
1 large onion diced
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup cassareep
2 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
About 4 cups water
Combine oxtail, onion, garlic, cassareep, all spice, salt, black pepper, sugar and tomato paste in a large mixing bowl. Mix together and let marinate overnight. Then, add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot or pressure cooker on medium heat. When oil is hot, add oxtail and saute for 5 to 10 minutes turning meat constantly. Add water and cook until oxtail is tender. If pressure cooking this will take about 30 minutes. If conventional cooking, it will take about an hour. Once the oxtail is tender, reduce heat and simmer until stew is thick.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. I tried making this stew with soy sauce and it didn’t have the same flavor.
2. You can also make this dish in a slow cooker.
3. In another version of this I added tomatoes and it added a nice amount of acidity to the stew.
4. I’m not Jamaican so please, if you have a better version of this stew, don’t be afraid to share.