Jamaican oxtails are a classic dish that is full of rich and delicious flavors. The meat is cooked until it becomes tender and falls off the bone, while the sauce is thick and packed with a delightful blend of spices. This is a dish that is loved by many and is often served with rice and peas or traditional Jamaican festival bread.

To make Jamaican oxtails on the stove, you will need a few key ingredients. The star of the dish is, of course, the oxtails themselves. You will also need onions, garlic, ginger, thyme, scallions, allspice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and beef broth. These ingredients come together to create the bold and savory flavors that are typical of Jamaican cuisine.

The first step in cooking Jamaican oxtails on the stove is to brown the oxtails. This adds depth and flavor to the meat. Once the oxtails have been browned, you can set them aside and sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger in the same pot. This combination of aromatics adds a fragrant and savory base to the dish.

After the onions, garlic, and ginger have cooked, you can add the oxtails back to the pot along with the thyme, scallions, allspice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and beef broth. Allow the oxtails to simmer on low heat for about 2-2.5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. This slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together and creates a rich and satisfying dish.

Once the oxtails are tender, you can serve them with rice and peas or Jamaican festival bread for a complete meal that is sure to impress. The rich and bold flavors of Jamaican oxtails on the stove are sure to become a new favorite in your household. Enjoy!

How to Cook Jamaican Oxtails on the Stove

If you’re looking to make a delicious and hearty Jamaican dish, cooking oxtails on the stove is a great option. Oxtails are a traditional Jamaican delicacy that are packed with flavor and tender meat. Follow these steps to create a flavorful and mouthwatering Jamaican oxtail dish right in your own kitchen.


  • 3 pounds of oxtails
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish


  1. Season the oxtails with salt, pepper, thyme, and allspice. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the oxtails on all sides, then remove them from the pot and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ketchup to the pot. Stir well to combine.
  5. Return the oxtails to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the oxtails are fork-tender.
  6. If using a scotch bonnet pepper, add it to the pot during the last 30 minutes of cooking for a spicy kick.
  7. Once the oxtails are cooked, remove them from the pot and set aside.
  8. If desired, skim off any excess fat from the cooking liquid. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the liquid until the fat solidifies and then remove it.
  9. Return the oxtails to the pot and heat through.
  10. Serve the Jamaican oxtails hot, garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.
  11. Enjoy your Jamaican oxtails with steamed rice, beans, or traditional Jamaican sides like plantains or cabbage.
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Now you can enjoy the rich and flavorful taste of Jamaican oxtails right at home. This dish pairs well with Jamaican music and good company, so invite your friends and family over to share in this delicious meal.

Preparing the Ingredients

Before you can start cooking Jamaican oxtails on the stove, it’s important to properly prepare all the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:


3 pounds of oxtails, trimmed and cut into sections
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons of ground allspice
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole (optional)

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start preparing the oxtails. Begin by trimming off any excess fat and cutting the oxtails into sections, if they have not been pre-cut.

Next, finely chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. These aromatic ingredients will add depth of flavor to the oxtails. Set them aside for later.

In a small bowl, combine the fresh thyme leaves, ground allspice, salt, and black pepper. Mix them together to create a flavorful seasoning blend.

Now that the ingredients are prepared, you are ready to move on to the next step: browning the oxtails.

Marinating the Oxtails

Marinating the oxtails is an essential step in bringing out their rich and flavorful taste. Here is a simple marinade recipe to follow:


  • 2 pounds of oxtails
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
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  1. Place the oxtails in a large bowl or ziplock bag.
  2. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme, scallions, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, allspice, black pepper, and salt to the oxtails.
  3. Using your hands or a spoon, mix the ingredients together, ensuring that the oxtails are evenly coated with the marinade.
  4. Cover the bowl or seal the ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. This will allow the flavors to fully penetrate the oxtails.

Marinating the oxtails before cooking them will give you the most delicious and tender results. Don’t skip this step, as it is crucial to achieving that authentic Jamaican flavor!

Browning the Oxtails

To start cooking Jamaican oxtails on the stove, you need to brown the meat first. Browning the oxtails will enhance their flavor and add a rich, caramelized taste to the dish.


  • 2 pounds of oxtails
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper


  1. Make sure the oxtails are dry by patting them with a paper towel.
  2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Season the oxtails with salt and black pepper, then add them to the hot oil.
  4. Cook the oxtails for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are well browned.
  5. Remove the browned oxtails from the skillet and set them aside on a plate.

Browning the oxtails will give them a delicious deep brown color and rich flavor that will complement the other ingredients in your Jamaican oxtail dish. This step is crucial for achieving the authentic and mouthwatering taste of Jamaican cuisine.

Once the oxtails are beautifully browned, you can continue with the next steps of your recipe, such as adding the aromatics, braising liquids, and simmering the oxtails to perfection. Enjoy your homemade Jamaican oxtails!

Adding the Seasonings

Once the oxtails are browned, you can begin adding the seasonings to enhance the flavor of the dish. Jamaican oxtails are known for their rich and savory taste, and the seasonings play a key role in achieving that traditional Jamaican flavor.

1. Jamaican Curry Powder

Add a tablespoon of Jamaican curry powder to the pot with the oxtails. This will give the dish a distinct Jamaican flavor and add a touch of spiciness.

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2. Allspice

Add a teaspoon of allspice to the pot. Allspice is a key ingredient used in Jamaican cuisine and adds a unique flavor to the oxtails.

3. Thyme and Bay Leaves

Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a couple of bay leaves to the pot. These herbs will infuse the dish with their aromatic flavors and enhance the overall taste.

4. Garlic and Onion

Mince a few cloves of garlic and finely chop an onion. Add them to the pot and sauté them with the oxtails and seasonings. Garlic and onion are essential ingredients in most Jamaican dishes and will contribute to the rich flavor of the oxtails.

5. Scotch Bonnet Pepper

If you like spicy food, you can add a scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Be mindful of the heat level, as scotch bonnet peppers are very spicy. You can choose to leave the pepper whole for a milder flavor or chop it up for a spicier kick.

Once you have added all the seasonings, give them a stir to distribute them evenly among the oxtails. The aroma will start to fill your kitchen, and you’ll know that you’re on the right track to creating an authentic Jamaican oxtail dish.


What are Jamaican oxtails?

Jamaican oxtails are a popular dish made from the tail of a cow. The tail is usually cut into small pieces and cooked with various seasonings and vegetables to create a rich and flavorful stew.

Can I cook Jamaican oxtails on the stove?

Yes, you can cook Jamaican oxtails on the stove. It is a slow-cooking process that requires simmering the oxtails for several hours until they become tender and the flavors meld together.

What ingredients do I need to cook Jamaican oxtails?

To cook Jamaican oxtails, you will need oxtail pieces, onions, garlic, thyme, allspice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, browning sauce, tomatoes, carrots, scallions, and scotch bonnet pepper. You may also choose to add other seasonings and vegetables based on your preference.

How long does it take to cook Jamaican oxtails on the stove?

Cooking Jamaican oxtails on the stove can take several hours. It is recommended to simmer the oxtails for at least 2-3 hours until they are tender and the flavors have developed. However, some recipes suggest cooking them for even longer to achieve maximum tenderness.

Can I make Jamaican oxtails spicy?

Yes, you can make Jamaican oxtails spicy by adding scotch bonnet pepper or other hot peppers to the dish. The heat level can be adjusted based on your preference. However, it is important to be cautious when handling and consuming spicy peppers.