Skip to Content

Jamaican Oxtails Recipe

Sharing is caring!

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

This post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclaimer here.

Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

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, allspice, 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 your 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:

Other popular Jamaican recipes:

Find the full video tutorial on Youtube. Don’t forget to click the thumbs-up button and subscribe for more recipe videos.

Print Pin Save
4.82 from 409 votes

The BEST Jamaican Oxtail 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 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon browning
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic chopped
  • 2 whole carrots chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper seeds and membrane removed and chopped
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon 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 the 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, create a cornstarch slurry by combining corn starch and water to a separate bowl. Stir into slow cooker along with the drained butter beans.

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 your 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
My Southern Air Fryer ECookbookFind all my Top Southern Air Fryer recipes in one place! My Southern Air Fryer ECookbook!
Subscribe to my YouTubeSubscribe to my YouTube Channel for full length recipe videos. Click the bell icon to be notified when I upload a new video.
Tried this recipe? Share on InstagramMention @Myforkinglife or tag #myforkinglife!
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.

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating




Angelique G

Friday 5th of May 2023

Love your recipe, I tweaked it a little based on ways I saw on tiktok but OMG it was amazing. Thank you!

Ashley

Sunday 30th of April 2023

Your recipe sounds delicious however I was bias to sunny Anderson's recipe on food network.com for oxtails. I did however use your idea for pressure cooking them after browning the oxtail first after the seasoning Sat on it for a bit maybe 10 minutes. When it was finished instead of cornstarch since I didn't have any I used beef gravy mix which has thickening agent inside of it and turned the settings to saute to thicken after I removed or skimmed the fat from the top of the stew. :-)

Alison

Monday 24th of April 2023

Thank you Tanya for an amazing oxtail recipe. I made this the other day along with the rice and peas recipe on your site. My husband and I can't get enough. I followed the recipe as directed except the carrots as I didn't have any on hand. I may reduce the sugar next time as mentioned by other viewers. My husband and I said this is a lot better than the restaurant. So glad I found your site. Will definitely be keeping this recipe for future dinners.😊

Thank you again.

Zainab

Sunday 4th of June 2023

These oxtails saved my life. Thank you soo much!

Tanya

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Thanks so much, Alison! So happy you all enjoyed the recipe :)

Kelly

Wednesday 19th of April 2023

I want to try this but don't have a pressure cooker! Any tips for slow cooker or oven in a dutch oven??

Tanya

Thursday 20th of April 2023

Hi Kelly, directions for both slow cooker and stovetop directions are in the recipe card at the bottom.

Brandy

Friday 7th of April 2023

I've revisited this recipe over the past THREE YEARS and have found different ways to make it my own but THIS recipe IS TOP TIER; I've even gone to restaurants that didn't have oxtails on this level; I'm the oxtail-cooking GOAT in my family and I have you to thank!!!!!

Tanya

Saturday 8th of April 2023

Thanks so much Brandy! That makes me so happy! So glad you like the recipe.