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Jamaican Oxtails Recipe

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This Jamaican Oxtails Recipe is fall off the bone tender and full of amazing flavor. It can be made in about an hour with your pressure cooker or cook it low and slow in a slow cooker.

jamaican oxtail in a white bowl with blue napkin in background

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Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
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If you ever ask me what my favorite Jamaican dish is, I’ll probably say oxtail. It’s a recipe that my mom would make for special occasions. I wish we could have eaten it weekly but oxtail can be so darn expensive. So it became one of those special Sunday dinners or “let’s celebrate something” dinners. 

Oxtails usually takes hours to cook. But wow, the flavor and the tenderness the oxtail brings is worth it. Lucky for me, I’m a pressure cooking fanatic and found that using a pressure cooker cuts the time of cooking oxtail by a ton.  For this recipe, you can use a pressure cooker or even a slow cooker.

How to Make Jamaican Oxtails and Gravy

First, I mise en place my ingredients by chopping my onions, garlic, and scotch bonnet or habanero pepper. Make sure to remove the seeds and membrane from the hot pepper, or your oxtail will be too spicy. 

Then prepare your oxtails by cleaning them with a little bit of water and vinegar and then dry them off with some paper towels. I know I know, they say not to wash your meat but my mom would literally cuss me out if I didn’t. So I do. 

raw oxtail pieces on a teal cutting board

Next, season your oxtails with brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, all spice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and browning. Use your hands and mix, ensuring that your oxtail pieces are fully covered. 

raw oxtails covered in seasoning in a bowl

Now you can decide at this point if you feel like marinating or not. If I’m pressure cooking or slow cooking, I usually skip this step and the flavor is still pretty amazing. If you choose to marinate, marinate in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. 

Pressure Cooking Instructions

Turn the pressure cooker on the “high sauté” setting. If using an Instant Pot, select “Sauté and press the “+” button until it is the “more” setting. Once your Pressure Cooker is “Hot”, add your vegetable oil to the pot. 

Next, add your larger oxtail pieces to the pot, flat side down about ¼ inch apart, and brown on each side for about 2 minutes. Make sure you’re watching the oxtails at this browning stage as you don’t want to burn the oxtail. If you do, your oxtail gravy will taste bitter later on. 

oxtail pieces in instant pot

You can choose to brown all your pieces of oxtails but I usually only brown the larger pieces of the oxtail. The smaller pieces usually don’t need browning. 

Once you’ve browned your oxtail, deglaze your pressure cooker by adding about 2 tbsp of beef broth to the insert. Take a wooden spoon and deglaze your pot by removing the brown bits at the bottom. Then add your yellow onions, green onions, carrots, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper. Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. 

vegetables in instant pot insert

Add dried thyme, oxtails, remaining beef broth, and ketchup to the pressure cooker insert. All the broth will not cover the oxtail. You don’t need it to. 

oxtails in insert of instant pot before cooking

Press “Cancel” on your pressure cooker. Cover with lid, making sure the valve is set to “Seal.” Set your pressure cooker to cook on High Pressure for 45 minutes

Once your timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release. All this means is that you don’t touch it. If you’re like me, you may anxiously stare at the pressure cooker waiting for your oxtail goodness. After about 25 minutes, all of your pressure should have been released. Double check by making sure that the pin button has dropped or switch the valve to “Venting” to ensure all the pressure has been released. Press “Cancel” on the pressure cooker and then open the lid. 

oxtails in instant pot after cooking

Remove the oxtail pieces and vegetables from the Pressure Cooker and place in a bowl and set aside. I use a spider strainer for this step.

strainer removing oxtail pueces from instant pot

Then press the “Sauté button on your pressure cooker.

Once your liquid starts to boil, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch with water in a separate bowl. Slowly stir in the slurry into the pressure cooker. Add drained butter beans to the pressure cooker as well and stir them in. Cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened a little and the butter beans are warmed.

Return oxtails and vegetables to the pressure cooker. Serve and enjoy.

finished Jamaican oxtails in instant pot

Notes on Pressure Cooker Oxtails

  • It’s best if all your oxtails are medium sized oxtails that are similar in size. If you can’t get them the same size, no worries. It’ll still work. 
  • Oxtail that is too fatty will lead to fatty gravy. You want some fat, just not too much fat. If you’re oxtail is extremely fatty, use a paring knife to remove some of the excess fat. 
  • Scotch Bonnet is typically used for this recipe. If you can’t find a scotch bonnet, a habanero can be substituted. You could also use about 1-2 tsp of this scotch bonnet pepper sauce. 

Looking for recipes to serve this Jamaican Oxtails with? Try these out:

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5 from 23 votes

Jamaican Oxtails Recipe

This Jamaican Oxtails recipe is the perfect Caribbean stew for dinner. Delicious and tender oxtail and butter beans that is cooked to perfection. Make it in the Instant Pot or any electric Pressure Cooker. Stove top and slow cooker instructions also included.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword jamaican oxtails
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 876kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs oxtails
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1 tsp browning
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic chopped
  • 2 whole carrots chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper seeds and membrane removed and chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 16 oz can Butter Beans drained

Instructions

  • Rinse oxtails with water and vinegar and pat dry. Cover oxtails with brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, all-spice, and browning and rub into oxtails.
  • Set Pressure Cooker on High Sauté and once hot, add vegetable oil. Next, add your larger oxtail pieces to the pot, flat side down about ¼ inch apart, and brown on each side.
  • Remove oxtail after browning and place in bowl.
  • Deglaze your pressure cooker by adding about 2 Tbsp of beef broth to the insert. Take a wooden spoon and deglaze your pot by removing the brown bits at the bottom. Then add your yellow onions, green onions, carrots, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper. Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened.
  • Add dried thyme, oxtails, remaining beef broth, and ketchup to the pressure cooker insert.
  • Press “Cancel” on your Instant Pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once timer is done, allow pressure cooker to naturally release.
  • Once all pressure has released, open lid and remove oxtails and vegetables, leaving liquid behind. Turn Pressure Cooker on sauté. Once liquid begins to simmer, create a corn starch slurry by combining corn starch and water to a separate bowl. Stir into simmering liquid. Add drained butter beans into pressure cooker and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, until liquid is slightly thickened and butterbeans are warmed.
  • Add oxtails and vegetables back to the pressure cooker. Serve and enjoy 🙂

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Prepare recipe as instructed up until the oxtails need to be browned. Brown oxtail over medium-high heat on the stovetop in a skillet. Once oxtail are browned, deglaze skillet by adding 2 Tbsp of beef broth. Add onions and carrots to skillet and stir until onions have softened. Add these ingredients to the slow cooker as well as all remaining ingredients, except the butter beans. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or until oxtail is tender. 30 minutes before serving, add drained butter beans to slow cooker.

Stove Top Instructions

  • Follow the instructions above and then rather than placing in a slow cooker or pressure cooker, cook it on the stove on medium low heat for about 3 hours, stirring occasionaly or until oxtails are tender. Add the butter beans when there is about 30 minutes left on the cook time.

Video

Notes

Notes on Pressure Cooker Oxtails
  • It’s best if all your oxtails are medium sized oxtails that are similar in size. If you can’t get them the same size, no worries. It’ll still work. 
  • Oxtail that is too fatty will lead to fatty gravy. You want some fat, just not too much fat. If you’re oxtail is extremely fatty, use a paring knife to remove some of the excess fat. 
  • Scotch Bonnet is typically used for this recipe. If you can’t find a scotch bonnet, a habanero can be substituted. You could also use about 1-2 tsp of this scotch bonnet pepper sauce. 

Nutrition

Calories: 876kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 90g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 312mg | Sodium: 2882mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 5261IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 13mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
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Bianca

Thursday 2nd of April 2020

Could it use different beans?thank you!

Tanya

Saturday 4th of April 2020

Hi Bianca, it can, but these are the beans that are authentic to the recipe. Butter beans are pretty mild in taste so they don't change the taste too much. Other beans may change it. You could sub Lima beans or omit the beans if you like.

Bev

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Also, I have the thyme plant...can I use that instead of the dried? Would it be equivalent in the measurements?

Bev

Sunday 29th of March 2020

@Tanya, thank you for your response.

Tanya

Sunday 29th of March 2020

Hi Bev, I wouldn't recommend marinating longer then 24 hours. You could use fresh thyme (It's always hard for me to find). I would use 2 springs of fresh thyme.

Bev

Saturday 28th of March 2020

Thanks for this recipe. Can I marinate for 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking or is that too long?

Tareka

Friday 27th of March 2020

Can i use a slow cooker instead?

Tanya

Friday 27th of March 2020

Yes, slow cooker instructions are included.

Cryatl

Sunday 22nd of March 2020

Instead of a pressure cooker can I use a pot on the stove top? Like how much difference will it make?

Tanya

Monday 23rd of March 2020

You can, it will just take longer. Follow recipe as is but cook on medium-low for 2-3 hours or until the oxtail is tender.