Jamaican Oxtail With Tasty Black Beans

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Blog Post Image for Single Ingredient Groceries with text "Jamaican Oxtail With Tasty Black Beans" tan background with a photo of oxtail stew and bay leaf, bowl of oxtail stew with oxtail bone.

I learned how to cook this Jamaican Oxtail Stew from my Jamaican Mother-In-Law, who taught my boys to eat oxtails from a very young age.

This authentic Jamaican Oxtail recipe is made with dried black beans (or canned black beans), oxtails, and simple ingredients that are high in flavor. Jamaican style oxtails are usually made with broad beans (also called fava beans) but my children prefer the smaller black beans. 

This is not a quick recipe, so don’t rush it. Think about making this recipe when you are meal prepping for the week ahead or on a day you wake up super early and know you’ll want a hearty dinner. Or, if you like a heavier meal in the morning, prep this before you go to bed for a great hot meal in the morning. ​

 

Jamaican Oxtail With Tasty Black Beans

I learned how to cook this Jamaican Oxtail Stew from my Jamaican Mother-In-Law, who taught my boys to eat oxtails from a very young age.

This authentic Jamaican Oxtail recipe is made with dried black beans (or canned black beans), oxtails, and simple ingredients that are high in flavor. Jamaican style oxtails are usually made with broad beans (also called fava beans) but my children prefer the smaller black beans. 

This is not a quick recipe, so don’t rush it. Think about making this recipe when you are meal prepping for the week ahead or on a day you wake up super early and know you’ll want a hearty dinner. Or, if you like a heavier meal in the morning, prep this before you go to bed for a great hot meal in the morning. ​
Prep Time30 mins
Pressure Cooker / Slow Cooker10 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Yield: 8
Author: Lisa Hugh MSHS RD LDN CLT

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

Materials

  • 1.5 - 2 pound Sliced Oxtail Often sold in frozen packages. Weight may vary. Wash meat after opening package.
  • 2 cups Sliced onions, green peppers, red peppers I use a frozen mix to save time.
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 10 each Pimentos
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 6 each Whole Bay Leaf
  • 1.5 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons Salt I like pink salt in this recipe. Sea Salt is also great.
  • 1.5 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley Flakes
  • 10 springs Thyme Fresh or Frozen
  • 3 cups Water
  • 6 cups Black Beans, prepared This is equivalent to one pound of dried beans that have been soaked and cooked according to package instructions.

Instructions

  • Add the oxtails to the pot.
    Washed and sliced uncooked oxtails in a white bowl for Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • Add all vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. Do not add the beans yet.
    Washed and Sliced Oxtails in a white bowl with fresh springs of thyme for Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • Add water.
    Oxtails with thyme, bay leaf, onions, peppers, seasonings in an instant pot for Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • Cook on Pressure Cooker mode for 1.5 hours.
  • Add beans.
  • Cook on Pressure Cooker mode for additional 30 minutes.
  • After cooking under pressure, the meat will be cooked and softened but the connective tissue will not be fully broken down.
    Jamaican Oxtail and black beans after pressure cooking but not yet finished. For Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • Cook on low temperature (slow cooker setting) for 6 hours.
    This allows the meat to be cooked to a darker color and the meat will easily fall from the bone. The connective tissue will be fully broken down. The marrow will release in to the sauce (or can be sucked out of the bone).
    Oxtail with Black Beans and Bay Leaf in an Instant Pot; Recipe for Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • This allows the meat to be cooked to a darker color and the meat will easily fall from the bone. The connective tissue will be fully broken down. The marrow will release in to the sauce (or can be sucked out of the bone).
    Authentic Jamaican Oxtail Stew with Black Beans and bay leaf in clear glass bowl. The meat is falling off the bone; for Single Ingredient Groceries.
  • There is a small disk-shaped bone in the center of the top of the oxtail slices. This should easily slide off of the rest of the bone when the connective tissue has been fully broken down.
    Cooked Jamaican Oxtail stew in a white bowl with a spoon. Meat is falling off the bone and connective tissue is broken down. The bones are separating; for Single Ingredient Groceries



Jamaican Oxtail With Tasty Black Beans

Servings 8

Prep Time: 00:15
Cook Time: 10:00

Main Ingredients

1.5 – 2 pounds sliced oxtail (frozen, washed)
2 cups sliced onions, green peppers, red peppers. (i use a frozen mix to save time. )
2 tablespoons minced garlic
10 pimentos
1 teaspoon paprika
6 whole bay leaves
1.5 teaspoons black pepper
1.5 teaspoons salt (i like pink salt in this recipe. sea salt is also great. )
1 .5 teaspoons onion powder
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
10 sprigs of thyme (fresh or frozen)
3 cups water
6 cups prepared black beans (this is the equivalent of one pound of dried beans that have been soaked and cooked according to package instructions. )

Preparation

1 Add the Oxtails to the pot.
2 Add all vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. (Do not add the beans yet.)
3 Add water.
4 Cook in Pressure Cooker for 1.5 hours.
5 Add beans.
6 Cook in Pressure Cooker for additional 30 minutes.
7 After two hours of cooking in the pressure cooker, the meat will be cooked and softened but the connective tissue will not be fully broken down.
8 Cook on Low Temp Cook / Slow Cooker setting for 6 hours.
9 This allows the meat to be cooked to a darker color and the meat will easily fall from the bone. The connective tissue will be fully broken down. The marrow will release in to the sauce (or can be sucked out of the bone).
10 Also, there is a small disk-shaped bone in the center of the top of the oxtail slices. This should easily slide off the rest of the bone when the connective tissue has been fully broken down.

Oxtail Nutrition

Oxtails are relatively high in fat and this is partly why they taste so good. (However, if a lower fat or lower calorie diet is needed, the fat can be skimmed out of this dish, either while hot or after it has been cooled.)

Ox tail is high in collagen, which is why they require a longer cooking time with plenty of liquid. Collagen is an important protein in bone broths and has lots of health benefits.

This recipe also offers the health benefits of bay leaves, thyme, garlic, pimento, parsley, onions and peppers. 

Recipe Adaptations

This recipe can be adapted in several ways to meet your preferences or dietary needs.

  • Canned beans can be used in place of dried beans.
  • Black beans can be swapped out for other types of beans.
  • Ginger can be added for an additional layer of flavor. Either dried ginger or fresh ginger would work. 
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper can be added for spice. Handle these with care. I recommend using gloves when working with these very hot peppers.
  • A dash of soy sauce or tomato ketchup can be added to increase the umami taste (or savory taste) of this dish. (These are not single ingredient groceries, but can be very helpful in recipes, if tolerated.)
  • Some people use Worcestershire sauce in oxtail stew, but I’m not fond of the vinegar flavor.
  • I use frozen onions, red peppers and green peppers because they are easy. Fresh onions and peppers can be used in varying combinations.
  • Salt and pepper can be adjusted to taste.
  • If you can’t eat beans, you can omit these from the recipe and enjoy a rich beef broth. 

Oxtail Cooking Variations

I like to cook oxtail stew in my Power Cooker. This allows the oxtails to cook at high heat and pressure for a while and then slow cooked overnight. This makes the meat so soft that it easily drops off the bone. And it allows the vegetables and herbs to be really incorporated in to the gravy.

  • Oxtails can also be cooked in a large pot or dutch oven on the stove, using medium heat for most of the cooking time. With this method, you’ll definitely need to be stirring occasionally. 
  • This recipe uses frozen oxtail (because it is often sold frozen). If your oxtail is fresh or thawed out, the time in the pressure cooker can be reduced. 

Infographic with tan background and pictures of Jamaican Oxtail Stew with Black Beans. Title is "How to cook oxtail." Text reads "after: meat is dark brown; meat is falling off the bone and small bone separates." Single Ingredient Groceries

Oxtail Serving Suggestions

      • Oxtails and rice is a wonderful combination but the dish can be served several ways.
  • A customary way of serving this dish would be with a side of Jamaican Rice and Peas and a steamed vegetable.
  • This recipe could also be served slow carb diet style, by serving the oxtail and beans with a large serving of vegetables and no rice.
  • Keto Oxtail could be made using the above recipe but excluding the beans. The stew could be served on its own or with riced cauliflower.
  • Scallions or green onions can be used as a pretty garnish. 

P.S. Where Do Oxtails Come From?

Sometimes we don’t really think about where our food comes from. 
I love this article that explains what an oxtail is.

Also, in case you are not familiar with purchasing Oxtails, they can be purchased at some butcher stops, farmers markets and farm stores. Some grocery stores sell oxtails. They are usually sold in the meat case and are often frozen. Here’s what they look like from my local grocery store.

 

Frozen Ox Tail in Package for Single Ingredient Groceries
Oxtails in a package, straight from the grocery store. They are often sold frozen.

Final Thoughts

Have you tried other styles of Oxtail? 
How do you like to cook Oxtail? 
​Share in the comments below. 

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Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration andAs a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa also produces Poop Problems Podcast.

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