Jamaicans know oxtail well.
If you didn’t know, my family is Jamaican and we love oxtail — especially for holidays, and special occasions.
The first few times I tried to make oxtail, I did not have a good time.
I didn’t season them well enough. I also used too much of certain flavors, and worst of all I was too impatient about cooking them and I didn’t let them cook long enough so they became tender and fall off the bone, with that delicious, sweet marrow.
With a lot of practice, I perfected an authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe that I’m really proud of.
I also think my mom would be proud of it too! She’s still surprised that I’ve learned how to cook.
I’m going to walk you through how to make oxtail, what oxtail is, why it’s called that, and some other ways to make perfect oxtail with tips for different methods like the stove, the oven, and the method I used —the pressure cooker.
I hope this recipe helps you make a great oxtail and you enjoy this Jamaican staple.
What are oxtail
Oxtail is exactly what it sounds like it’s the tail of cattle. It’s a gelatin Rich meat and it’s usually cooked as a stew or braised to get it extremely tender.
Slow cooking is the traditional way of preparing oxtail in Jamaica, but with the introduction of pressure cookers it’s an easy meal to make very quickly without a lot of fuss.
Are oxtails really oxtail
I always love this question. Oxtail is not ox, it’s just cow.
Is it oxtail or oxtails
It really depends on who you talk to. My family says oxtail and that tends to me and the plurality of the dish. Some people say oxtails — it truly is up to the region you’re from.
Ingredients for Jamaican oxtail seasoning
- 3 1/2 lb of oxtail
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos (alternative: soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup of Browning
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/4 cup red wine
- One, medium-sized diced white onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 2 julienned carrots
- 1 pepper seeds removed (Scotch bonnet, habanero or any other hot pepper will do)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 8 to 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Optional: butter beans or red kidney beans
How to cook Jamaican-style oxtail
First turn your pressure cooker on to the saute function. Place it on high.
Trim any excess fat from your oxtail. You can put it in a freezer bag, and freeze it for use later in soups or stocks..
Once the pressure cooker is hot, add oil, and then place your oxtail in the pan and sear on both sides. Depending on the size of your oxtail, you may have to do this in batches.
After searing the oxtail, place them on a plate, or in a bowl and set them aside.
Next deglaze your pressure cooker bowl by pouring in the red wine.
It will Bubble Up and steam very quickly. And you’ll be able to take a spatula and loosen the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Keep these brown bits in there, you’ll need them for the extra flavor.
Add your onion carrots garlic, thyme and peppers to the pan to saute.
You want your onions to become soft. You’ll cook these for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly and watching as the ingredients caramelize.
Put your oxtail into the pan, pour in beef broth and cover with the pressure cooker lid.
Reset your pressure cooker to high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the oxtails to cook with a natural release at the end of your cooking cycle.
Note: Natural release just means to leave it alone and let it do its thing.
Once the pressure has released, take the oxtail and most vegetables out of the pan but reserve the liquid in the pan.
Cook the gravy in the pan at a high temperature to reduce it by half and thicken it.
Enjoy plain, or as an optional step you can cook your white beans in the gravy before spooning it over at the oxtail.
Can you make this oxtail recipe in a slow cooker
You can make this recipe in a pressure cooker, on the stove, in a slow cooker, or in the oven. similar rules apply to tearing the meat before you may just have to adjust the temperature and cooking times for those other methods.
How to thicken your Jamaican oxtail gravy
This question is bound to come up as once you take the oxtails out of the pan you’ll notice that the gravy isn’t very thick.
There are some ways that you can stick in the gravy.
One is to reduce the sauce. Cook it on high heat until it reduces by half. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes. And you’ll notice the sauce is pretty thick.
Starch also helps so using foods like rice or beans to soak up the gravy also works really well in terms of thickness.
One last way to thicken the sauce is to make a slurry with cornstarch and water to the gravy mixture and then continue to stir the mixture until it becomes thick.
While this is the easiest way to do it, it does add extra carbohydrates to the dish, although it’s negligible.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Here are some other great recipes you can try:Print