Jamaican Oxtail & Butter Bean Stew

Oxtail is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. 

Oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. It is a traditional stock base for a soup. Although traditional preparations often involve hours of slow cooking, modern methods usually take a shortcut by utilizing a pressure cooker. 
Stewed oxtail with butter beans or as main dish (with rice) is popular in Jamaica, Trinidad, and other West Indian cultures.  

This is the recipe my mum taught me. 

Here’s what you’ll need:


1.5kg Oxtail meat, chopped in cubes

5 Tbsp Cooking oil

2 Tbsp garlic powder 

2 Tbsp paprika

2 Tbsp all purpose seasoning

2 Tbsp meat seasoning

2 Tbsp jerk seasoning

1 Tbsp crushed chillies 

1 large Onion, diced

2 green sweet peppers, sliced

3 tomatoes

1 tin butter beans

1 1/2 Tbsp of browning 

What is browning???

Browning sauce is a blend of caramel colour, vegetable concentrates and seasonings. Available since the early 1900s, the sauce is used to add a rich dark colour to foods. Traditionally added to gravies and sauces, browning sauce also works well in soups and stews to darken the broth.

Wash the meat

  • Wash the meat in cold water with vinegar and lemon juice.

Season the meat

Add the onions

Add all the seasoning and spices

Add one and a half tablespoon of browning

Leave over night in the fridge to marinate. 

I always use the traditional slow cooking method for my recipes! No pressure cookers in my kitchen!

Heat the cooking oil in large pot on a high heat.  

Place the oxtail in pot and brown/fry to seal in all the juices.

 Once the meat is browned, pour in some boiling water just above the level of meat in the pot. Cover and leave on a medium heat and simmer for about an hour (stirring ocassionally).

Whilst the meat is cooking, chop the peppers and tomatoes. 

Open the tin of butter beans, drain the liquid and pour the beans into a bowl. 

After a hour, the meat should now be tender, pour more hot water from the kettle over the meat for the final stages of the cooking process. 

Then add the peppers and tomatoes. 

Then a heaped tablespoon of butter and stir. 

Continue to reduce the liquid until it becomes a thick gravy, this should take 45mins to a hour on a medium heat. 

Add the butter beans in the final 10 minutes of the cooking time. 

There you have it, Jamaican oxtail and butter bean stew! Serve with some steamed rice for the perfect combination. 

Enjoy this recipe, it’s packed full of flavour which will leave you wanting more. Add some coleslaw and fried plantains for a complete authentic Jamaican main meal. 


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