Fay’s Jamaican Oxtail Stew Recipe

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


Oxtail Stew
Comments (61)
Add Comment
  • jodi-ann

    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

    • NeGail

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

  • Jennifer

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

  • Sharee Mobley

    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

  • Chris

    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.

  • oba lumumba

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

  • Debra

    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!

  • Lucinda

    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?

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      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

  • Lyvvel

    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

  • rob

    can neck bone be replaced for oxtail?

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      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

  • Kara

    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!

  • NeGail

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

  • Ann

    Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    • Cook Like A Jamaican

      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

      • AJ Burroughs

        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.

        • Alma

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

  • Shayl

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

    • Fay & Angela

      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

  • Hollie

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

  • John

    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.

  • Winnie


    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!!!!!

  • Brumany Shirley

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

    • Fay & Angela

      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

      • Brumany Shirley

        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 .

  • Mireille Monteil

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

  • Christina

    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!

  • Dawna

    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?

    • Fay & Angela

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

  • Heather

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

  • Harold


  • Vonnie

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

  • Shon

    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

  • Amy

    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

  • Julia

    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.

    • Fay & Angela

      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

  • Lola

    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

    • Fay & Angela

      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

  • Luke Galloway

    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

  • Jasmine

    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!

  • mysti

    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

  • Onetia

    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

  • Janet

    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

  • Gerrod

    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.

  • Philip

    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.

  • Najee

    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…..

  • Lini

    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.

  • Nick

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


    Hello i’m sending you this message to thank you so very much for sharing this wonderful oxtail recipe this is my first time cooking oxtail and i do say so my self i think you would be very proud the way it came out it came out so good make you want to slap my mother LOL just a little joke. but on the real thank you i will tell all my friends and family about your site keep up the great work and GOD BLESS YOU.

  • Rachel

    This recipe is DELICIOUS. Oxtails have always been my favorite but since I moved from the city, its very hard to find. It reminded me of everything I loved about Hartford CT. I do have one question… my boyfriend likes his VERY spicy… too spicy for most to eat… do you have any tips for elevating the heat? Thank you again, this recipe is AMAZING.

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Rachel,
      Happy to hear that you like my recipe. There’s only way to elevate the heat… more pepper. I suggest your boyfriend buy a West Indian pepper sauce like Matouks so that he can add the pepper to his own plate and have it exactly as he likes. Blessings, Fay

  • Shelz

    Can i add dumplings to it? of sp, when to add it in and how to incorporate in please? thanksShelz … x

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Shelz,
      Putting dumplings in Oxtail Stew isn’t traditional but I’m a believer in creative cooking. So if you’re inspired do it. I’ve never tried it before but I suggest making spinners (small, long dumplings) and adding them to the pot when the meat is tender and the dish close to ready. Enjoy!
      Blessings, Fay

  • amanda

    I am very new to the cooking scene- can you offer any suggestions on how to purchase ox tail from the grocery store? What should it look like? What should I look for?I look forward to trying this recipe!

    • Fay & Angela

      Hi Amanda,
      Thanks for reaching out. Welcome to the world of cooking! Depending where you live you may be able to find oxtails pre-packaged in the meat department. If not, talk with the butcher. Ask him for small to medium 1 or 2-inch-long pieces with lots of meat on them. The only way to cook oxtail is to braise it until it’s very tender…falling off the bone. Enjoy!
      Blessings, Fay

  • Steve

    I love your site and your recipes are fantastic! Thank you so much, cooking this one tonight!!

  • Roxanne

    Thank you for your recipe. It\’s been 2yrs since my mother has passed. So I miss her cooking. I didn\’t expect for her to get ill and leave me so young so I never bothered for her to teach me my culture dishes. I\’m trying to learn now so my siblings and I don\’t forget and I can pass it on to my own child. Thank you

  • Moala

    Thanks for this great recipe. I’m Polynesian and this was never a part of our diet growing up. However my husband is African American and he introduced oxtails to me!! I love it!! now that I’m learning different ways to cook it. This recipe is the best one so far!! My husband loves the way you add beans and curry to the flavour of your oxtails. Thank you once again!!

  • Peter

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I have tasted this before and always wanted the recipe. I have ask a lot of Jamaican friends and they don’t share this recipe. It must be a very special authentic food item. I have added some potato & carrots to the dish as well and it taste good.

  • Frankie Wright

    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!