If you’ve never cooked Oxtail, this just might be the recipe for you. I say this with total authority because it was my first time cooking it and am quite happy with how it turned out! Despite the fact that it takes a very long time to prepare, oxtail is straightforward enough for anyone to follow and is entirely worth the effort (IMHO). There is simply no way around the cooking time unless you use a pressure cooker, which I do not own. But there is something to be said for doing things the old fashioned way. I think it gives the flavours in the stew more time to develop. In fact, like most stews, this tastes better the next day after a night of hanging out in the fridge. The recipe is largely influenced by the Jamaican oxtail stews that I have tasted at various spots in Toronto. Flavours from the allspice, thyme and scotch bonnets marry beautifully together in a rich broth that is naturally thickened with sweet potatoes. I should warn you, however, this dish is intended to be spicy so if that’s not your thing you will have to adjust the amount of scotch bonnets you use. I have a very, very high spice tolerance and with only a single, deseeded pepper in the pot I felt some serious heat! And what a glorious heat it was!
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below. In fact, I would be really interested to know if anyone has a family recipe they are willing to share!
A very special thank you to Zwilling J. A. Henckels for generously providing the following for the preparation of this recipe: (click each for source)
Jamaican Oxtail & Sweet Potato Stew – Paleo
6-8 ox tails – excess fat trimmed
3 small carrots – cut into ½ rounds
2 celery stalks – diced
1 small onion – diced
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper – seeded and minced while wearing gloves
5 cloves garlic – minced
2 sweet potatoes – peeled and cut into 1” cubes
1 L beef stock
6-8 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp Allspice
Salt and Pepper
Grape seed Oil Avocado Oil or Coconut Oil
- Heat 2 tbsp
grape seedAvocado oil in a large Dutch Oven or roasting tray over med-high heat. Pat oxtails dry with a kitchen towel, season with salt and pepper and, working in batches, brown on all sides (approx. 10-15 min). Transfer to a plate and set aside. Preheat oven to 325F.
- To the pot, add onion, carrots, celery, scotch bonnet and garlic. Using a wooden spoon, scrape off any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until they have slightly softened. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- Add beef stock, allspice and thyme. Return the oxtails back to the pot – they should be nearly submerged. If required, add water.
- Bring the liquid to a low boil, cover with a lid and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 4.5 hours stirring once every hour or so.
- After 4.5 hours, add in the sweet potato and return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes. The stew is ready when the meat on the oxtails falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- Taste stew for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
- Transfer to individual bowls and serve with a tall glass of water.