We love savory and meaty oxtails with finger licking gravy that will make you want to ‘slap yo mama!’ When chowing down on them, sucking on those bones is practically a religious experience because they’re SO good! We tend to eat oxtails, especially during the holidays to celebrate bonds with friends and family. Not only do we love eating oxtails but the dish is also popular in many West Indian cultures in places like Jamaica, Trinidad, and Haiti. Folks in Italy, the UK, Russia, South Africa, South America, China, Indonesia eat oxtail too and in Korean cuisine, they make a popular and hearty soup with it called kkori gomtang which is just what the doctor ordered. On these shores, African Americans and West Indians enjoy feasting on the flavorful meat as a stew.
So what are oxtails anyway?
Oxtail or tail of cattle is a gelatin-rich beef. Each section has a tailbone with some marrow in the center, and a bony portion of meat surrounding the tail. It is chopped up into bite-sized pieces before it is sold to retailers. When the oxtail is prepared, it is typically slow-cooked but some prefer to bring out their pressure cookers to get things moving a bit. Oxtail meat is one of the underestimated culinary offerings as far as nutrition. Oxtail is packed with good stuff like protein and potassium, but depending on how it is cooked, the fat content can climb as high as 23 grams, so easy on any added oil.
If you have not put oxtails on your food bucket list then what are you waiting for! Here is a recipe for the soul-satisfying dish and it’s Jamaican-style, so it’s spicy. Eat hearty ya’ll!
2 -3 tablespoon cooking oil
1- 2 pounds oxtail cut up medium pieces
1 onion chopped
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1- teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 heaping tablespoon ketchup
½ Scotch bonnet pepper
3 scallion onions chopped
5-6 Whole pimento seeds (allspice),
1½ Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1- teaspoon curry or more adjust to preference
15 ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon browning sauce (optional)
1 Tablespoon bouillon powder or cube (optional)
*Salt to taste, serves 6
- Season oxtail with, salt and pepper. Set aside
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the oxtail sauté stirring, frequently, any browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until oxtail is brown. Drain oil partially leaving about 2-3 tablespoons of it.
- Add onions, scallion onions, garlic, thyme, pimento all spice, Worcestershire, smoked paprika, stir for about a minute. Throw in scotch bonnet pepper, ketchup, bouillon and curry powder, stir for another minute.
- Then add about 6 cups of water and bring to a boil and let it simmer until tender (depending on the oxtail size and preference) about 3 hours, occasionally stirring the saucepan.
- About 20-30 minutes before you remove the oxtails from the stove, add the broad beans. Adjust thickness of soup with water or stock.
- Season with salt according to preference.
*Serve with rice