June 30, 2015

This dish is the overall favorite in my family. I call it the great family connector. That’s because when word goes out that I’m making Oxtail and Rice, everyone shows up for dinner! Oxtail is a must-have dish at every Jamaican restaurant, whether it’s take-out and dine in. In  my family it’s comfort food. Every Jamaican cook has their own way of making it, and I put lima beans in my recipe, though others don’t. The prep is easy but it does take time to cook … between two and two-and-a-half hours. How do you know it’s ready? The meat should be tender and falling off the bone! Pair it with steamed rice and a side salad and you’re good to go.

Every Jamaican cook has their own way of making Oxtail Stew. I put curry powder in this recipe, which is different but delicious!


3lbs Oxtail
1 1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Black pepper
3 Tbsp curry powder
2  Cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Cooking oil
2  Medium onions, sliced
1 tsp Dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves)
1 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tsp Wocester sauce
3 cups Water
1 Can (190z)  Lima beans (also called butter beans), drain and set aside liquid


1. Season oxtail with salt, black pepper, 2 Tbsp curry powder and garlic

2. Place sliced onions on top, cover and place in refrigerator overnight or for at least for 2 hours before cooking

3. While heating oil in heavy saucepan remove onions from top of meat

4. Add oxtail to the  sauce pan and sear to seal in juice

5. Add 1 cup of water, thyme and onion. stir. Stir in hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup and worcestershire sauce; cook for 5 minutes.

6. Add 1 Tbsp curry powder; stir. Add 2 cups of water (enough water to just cover meat); cover and simmer until meat is tender  (2 to 2 1/2 hours). TIP: The meat should be so tender it’s falling off the bone

7. Add lima beans (with half their liquid) to the cooked meat and stir

8. Raise heat and bring to a rapid boil until gravy thickens, stirring at intervals so that no sticking or burning occurs. Remove from heat.

Serve with steamed white rice and a mixed green salad



I’ve been cooking Jamaican food for my family for more than 50 years! Now I'm teaching my daughter Angela and you how to cook my treasured family recipes! I'm happy to be of service and love hearing from you so don't forget to leave a comment below.



  • Reply
    April 21, 2012

    i love how you show your cooking style, im trying to learn to cook for my mom and my self. since i no longer live with my dad, he use to show me little things to do
    so thank you

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      April 23, 2012

      Hi Jodi-Ann,
      Thank you for getting in touch! Great to hear from you. I’m glad you’re finding my website helpful!
      Blessings, Fay

    • Reply
      September 8, 2013

      These were the best oxtails I have ever made!!! Thanks for sharing…

  • Reply
    October 24, 2012

    Thank you so much for sharing these recipes.your family is so blessed to have you.

  • Reply
    Sharee Mobley
    December 12, 2012

    Hi Faye,

    I’m so excited that you have this recipe on your website, I’ve asked many Jamaicans about this recipe and I haven’t gotten it yet, but now I do thanks to you! I love to cook and I love when food is good and tastes like love has been cooked into it. I’m so excited and I can’t wait to cook this for my family.

    Thanks so much! Stay blessed!

    Sharee Mobley
    Lehigh Acres, FL

  • Reply
    December 21, 2012

    You videos are terrific for the novice.
    My Jamaican friends never give up their recipes.
    I just found out what “food” (dumplings) meant at Negril on Thursday.
    Didn’t know you could ask for it. They have been holding out on me for 10 years.

  • Reply
    oba lumumba
    January 18, 2013

    mama you need to tell what temperature to cook the meat -please

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      January 18, 2013

      Hi Oba, I hope this helps:

      Sear meat on High
      Simmer stew on Medium-Low
      Bring stew to a boil on High

      • Reply
        Frankie Wright
        January 18, 2013

        Thanks for posting this recipe. It looks like a recipe that I could handle. I have my oxtails thawing out right now so I can season and marinate them. I plan on cooking them for Sunday dinner. I will make sure I come back and post how things turned out. Have a great day!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2013

    I’m looking for the recipe my mother-in-law used to make. I don’t remember tasting curry in hers but I remember she added dried pimento berries. Will it taste ok if I leave out the curry and use the pimento instead? Or maybe it’s better if I leave the curry in and add the pimento? I don’t know how to cook so your advice would be appreciated!

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      January 20, 2013

      Hi Debra,
      Thank you for getting in touch. This is my recipe for Oxtail Stew and I like to include curry powder. Better known is the Brown Stew version that I I hope to share this year. In the meantime you’re best follow this recipe as written for the best results. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013

    The oxtail at my supermarket is in big pieces. Yours looks like it is in smaller pieces. Should I have the butcher cut it smaller for me?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      February 19, 2013

      Hi Lucinda,
      Yes, you may want to scope out smaller pieces of oxtail, which are be closer to the end of the tail. Otherwise, yes, ask the supermarket butcher to chop the larger pieces. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    February 14, 2013

    I love this Dish! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful recipes, I love Caribbean food coming from a family on my dads part that always had big gatherings complimented with the works, table full packed with it. Only trouble I had was leaving knowing that I would not get to experience all those flavors till the next event or get together. I am so Happy I came across this website its going to teach me so much , I cook a little already however these recipes really do help with what i look to call reassurance.

    Thanks once again x
    Oxford, England.UK

  • Reply
    March 30, 2013

    can neck bone be replaced for oxtail?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      April 3, 2013

      Hi Rob, what kind of neck bone are you referring to? I suppose you can use any kind of meat that can be braised like lamb, goat or beef. But for it to be oxtail stew you’ll need to use oxtail. Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    September 2, 2013

    I tried the oxtail recipe last night – it was a big hit! I have also tried your brown stew chicken recipe in the past. I was never able to cook these before I found your website. Thank you for making easy to follow, delicious recipes!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2013

    The best oxtails that I have EVER made in my life!!! Thanks for sharing…

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013

    Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    • Reply Cook Like A Jamaican
      Cook Like A Jamaican
      November 12, 2013

      Hi Ann,
      Though I’ve never made it in a slow cooker I’m sure it would be perfect. You may have to brown the meat before to make sure you get nice flavour. Let me know how it works out! Fay

      • Reply
        AJ Burroughs
        March 2, 2014

        I’ve used a slow cooker to make this before – as Fay indicated you have to brown/sear the meat first, then put in slow cooker with seasonings, leave beans out until meat cooked. I leave it overnight on Low and the gravy comes out great.

        • Reply
          December 27, 2014

          Hi AJ, so overnight for around 9 hours in the slow cooker on low should do the trick?

  • Reply
    November 18, 2013

    Great recipe i love the step by step instructions. can a pressure cooker be used?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      May 26, 2014

      Hi Shayl,
      I tried this recipe in a pressure cooker once I it was not to my liking. I found the that the bones became soft. Fay

  • Reply
    January 10, 2014

    Love this recipe. Very easy to do I even sent my mum the link and she now can cook oxtail to x

  • Reply
    January 26, 2014

    Warmed up a dreary wet British day

    I saw someone cooking ox tail on a tv programme so I searched it and I found your recipe, Fay, I wasn’t disappointed.

    I thought it was interesting how you didn’t add a stock cube, which no looked at it, it doesn’t need because of the ox tail bones which adds such a depth an rich flavour to the sauce.

    I’m always worried that I make things too spicy but my wife would be the first to tell me and I think it was just right.

    This recipe will go in my repertoire but the credit will go to you.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2014


    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. I just made this and while making it, I kept on checking b/c I can hardly wait to taste it. It is even more delicious than I imagined it to be. I made your coconut rice yesterday too. It is absolutely delicious. I am not a cook at all – and I followed your recipe and it is too die for!!!!!

  • Reply
    Brumany Shirley
    April 18, 2014

    Hi, if I use a slow cooker do i put 3 cups of water?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      April 19, 2014

      Hi Shirley,
      I’ve never used a slow cooker to make oxtail before. However, here is a tip I found when using a slow cooker: Because the slow cooker generates steam that doesn’t escape, there will be more liquid in the food when it’s finished cooking than when it started. If you create or adapt a recipe for the slow cooker, decrease (by as much as half) the amount of liquid you normally use in the dish. Hope that helps, Blessings, Fay

      • Reply
        Brumany Shirley
        April 21, 2014

        Ok thank you so much I will try that . I made the chicken soup recipe a few weeks ago and received many compliments on this soup . I was never comfortable making soup but your recipe made it so easy to follow .. Thanks again .

  • Reply
    Mireille Monteil
    June 4, 2014

    I do the same thing and I loooooove it… Being different is sometimes better…. Yummylicious!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2014

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. This recipe for oxtail stew is our family favorite. Comfort food at its finest and a crave worthy recipe!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2014

    When you state hot pepper sauce, what exactly are you using? I have ground hot peppers and hot sauce like Frank’s hot sauce. Is the latter what you are referring to? Something like Franks?

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Dawna, I’m referring to a West Indian hot pepper sauce but you can use any hot sauce your like. Fay

  • Reply
    July 17, 2014

    Hello Auntie Fay, so nice to see you and all the great recipes.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2014


  • Reply
    July 24, 2014

    Thanks so much for this recipe…Oxtail came out so good and juicy… Thanks so much

  • Reply
    July 26, 2014

    Dear Fay, What a fantastic recipe, this is the 2nd time I have made it (didn’t leave overnight the 1st time). Friends and family love it. You have made a London girl very happy. Love Vanessa xx London, England

  • Reply
    August 9, 2014

    Hello Fay, I used this recipe to cook my oxtails yesterday and it was so delicious. The favors was all there. Thank you so much for sharing all these wonderful recipes. I also cooked the rice and peas to go along with the oxtail and it was also a success.

    Thanks again

  • Reply
    August 25, 2014

    Faye ever single recipe I have tried of yours has turned out amazing..and u make it so easy to follow and understand. Truly appreciate it. Yummy

  • Reply
    September 23, 2014

    Hello Fay…. I am spanish but my boyfriend is jamaican. I am obsessed with jamaica food and i would love to learn how to cook. Let me tell you yhat i love your videos and i have already tried some of your recipes. So far everything have come out delicious, thank you for that. This recipe i have never tried it before because of the lenght of time that takes to make it, but im gonna try it soon since is one of my favorites. My questions is, if i decide not to use curry, will i need to add or substract any other of the ingredients?? I will apreciate your help on this one. Thank you again and congratulations with your channel, i love it. Julia.

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      October 3, 2014

      Hi Julia,
      Glad to hear you’re cooking Jamaican and loving it. Traditional oxtail does not include curry, that’s just my twist. Instead of omitting the curry try my Brown Stew Oxtail recipe, which is more traditional and doesn’t use curry powder.
      Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    December 15, 2014

    Hi Fay,I wanted to ask if this could be done in a slow cooker? My days are quite hectic but if this is another way of cooking this meal -it would be a lifesaver .Thanks much

    • Reply Fay & Angela
      Fay & Angela
      December 20, 2014

      Hi Lola,
      Thank you for your question. Guess what!? We’re working on a some slow cooker recipes to add to the site. So stay tuned.
      Blessings, Fay

  • Reply
    Luke Galloway
    January 2, 2015

    Got this on the stove now! Smelling and looking good! Nice one fay. I have followed your goat and chicken recipes and they were delicious. Thankyou x

  • Reply
    January 9, 2015

    I was married to a Trini man for 5 years and I really miss going to family events and eating all the different foods and being around the Caribbean culture. Im glad that there is a place where I can come to get real advice on how to prepare real Caribbean dishes! Love it!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015

    Thank you so much Fay for your AWESOME recipe. I usually make oxtail stew once a year when it is cold and my family loves them. But I tried your recipe in December and we loved it so much I am making them again tomorrow. Please continue sharing your art with us. So simple and extremely tasty.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2015

    hello ms. faye i wanna thank you sooo much for offering your recipes. im caucasian but my husband is jamaican. i tryed over the years to learn from his mother but i must say i love following your recipes.i think you r amazing to take the time to teach us all and reveal your recipes!!! again thank you so much…god bless

  • Reply
    March 10, 2015

    Hi Fay, In response to the previous writer question about the slow cooker yes and you are correct I do brown the meat before placing it in the slow cooker. It is delicious. I love your site. Blessings

  • Reply
    March 30, 2015

    Had my oxtail seasoned overnight. Just about to cook. Im british but my my partner is Jamaican and we have 3 kids so I want to learn to cook these traditional Caribbean meals for them to know about their jamaican roots etc x I always refer to ur website as its so easy to use and the food tastes great x thank u

  • Reply
    April 10, 2015

    This is my first time trying to cook oxtails. I\’m hoping they turn out well. I will definitely let you know how they turn out.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2015

    Hello Fay,
    I have been having a ball the past year with your recipes, your oxtail stew being my latest attempt and successful. Please keep inspiring me. Thank you.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2015

    Thank you, you have literally saved me hundreds of dollars. My husband goes across the bridge every weekend to pick up a dish for him and me. Now, thanks to you, I can recreate his favorite dishes…you have been a blessing…..

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015

    This recipe is wonderful! I wanted a dish that had a West Indian feel. Turned out great! I was a little skeptical with just using water so I added about a teaspoon of Better than Boullion. I wish I hadn’t because it was busting with flavor and didn’t need it! Next time (yes, there will be a next time), I will won’t change a thing! I did add an extra can of beans. One can wasn’t enough. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2015

    First time I tried this recipe its a winner – Simply tasty rich warming and super yummy yummy!

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