Jamaican Oxtail and Beans Recipe

In this oxtail recipe I am using green broad beans instead of the dried ones. Reason being that I prefer the green beans for the oxtail. The dried beans tend to make the gravy a bit too thick and pasty. I like my gravy with a nice consistency.

Also, I don't like using the canned beans at all because they tend to be a bit mushy. If you use the dried beans, cook the beans in a separate pot and when you are done preparing the oxtail, about two minute before removing from the fire, stir in your beans and let simmer for a minute or two on low flames. Then you are ready to go.

The green beans does not mash easily and can be cooked with the oxtail but only when you about half hour away from finishing as green beans don't take long to cook.

Oxtail takes a while to cook and while I personally prefer the lengthy method you may use a pressure cooker to reduce time. See method.

Remember that oxtail is more bone than meat so you need a few pounds to serve your family. In Jamaica, oxtail is very expensive so isn't used at home as often as we would like but most Jamaicans love it.

You will need:

3 -4 lbs oxtail, trimmed
2 cups green broad beans
2 stalks scallion, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large stem thyme
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 green scotch bonnet pepper (whole)
1 ripe scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
3-5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 table spoon all purpose seasoning
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Black pepper

Optional ingredients
2 table spoons catch-up for thickening and flavor
3 bay leaves
6 pimento seeds crushed

Trim fat from oxtail and rinse with vinegar or lime juice solution. Pat dry your oxtail and add all purpose, soy sauce, scallion, thyme, ripe chipped pepper, onion and garlic (pimento seeds are optional). Using your fingers rub your seasoning into each piece of meat. You may let this marinate for a few minutes.

In a dutch pot heat oil on high. Brush off excess seasoning and brown each piece of oxtail until deep brown. Set aside. If you are using a pressure cooker do the browning in the pressure cooker. Drain excess oil leaving about 3 tablespoons. Return all oxtail pieces to pot.......

  • For pressure cooking add 3 cups water and cover. Pressure for 10-15 minutes (check after 10 minutes and if not tender do another 5). When meat is tender but not soft remove pressure lid add remaining seasonings (at this point you add bay leaves) and beans and simmer until beans are cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

  • For the old fashioned cooking, add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook until meat is tender. Depending on the tenderness of the meat cook for anywhere between 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours. Keep checking tenderness and water levels. When meat is tender but not soft  add beans and remaining seasoning (bay leaves are optional). Salt and pepper to taste. Add the green scotch bonnet pepper. Cover and let simmer until beans are cooked and meat is soft.

Remember to add water as needed but not too much as you don't want the meat getting too soft waiting for the liquid to evaporate while the gravy is being made. For new cooks making this for the first time I would  suggest using the pressure cooking method as it is easier and takes less attention. Thicken sauce with catch-up if need which I doubt.

If you are cooking the oxtail without the beans you may very well need a thickening agent if you use the pressure cooking method. The lengthy method tend to bring out the flavor and better consistency of the sauce better than the pressure cooking method. I have never had to use catch-up for that but most restaurants do.