Jamaican Oxtail and Butter Bean Stew

I tend to go in to a state of denial this time of year thinking I’ve got loads of time to get things sorted, when I clearly haven’t. Year on year I’m almost always frantically running around buying presents at the very last minute or deciding where to actually spend it (I’m still not sure, but it’ll most likely be at my nan’s in Bristol). I do like to get my festive on and love the social aspect of catching up with friends and family around this time, as it’s that extra bit special and the food (which should go without saying)! Oh my the food, bring it all on: sprouts, chocolate yule log, turkey, the lot! I spent Christmas at my uncle’s last year and we had chicken.

Now I love chicken, but I eat it at least 2/3 times a week. Chicken for me is not ‘Christmas’ perfectly cooked though it was (thought I’d get that in there in case my uncle’s mrs reads this). So I’ve made it my mission to make sure I have some this year. I’ll get back to you on the result.

In the lead up to Christmas, I tend not to eat anything too festive as I like to build it up for the big day. What I do fancy eating, especially in these cold wintery spells are robust, earthy stews and this oxtail and butterbean recipe fits the bill.

Jamaican Oxtail and Butterbean Stew

December 12, 2011
: 4
: 15 min
: 3 hr 45 min
: 4 hr
: easy

A tasty Jamaican recipe


  • 1 kg oxtail
  • 1 can of butterbeans (drain juice)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
  • half tsp of pimento seeds
  • half a scotch bonnet pepper, sliced and deseeded
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 10 grams of flour
  • Step 1 Trim away any excess fat from the oxtail. Add garlic, Worcestershire sauce and all-purpose seasoning to the oxtails and leave overnight in fridge. Dust the tails in seasoned flour. Add oil to a saucepan and brown the tails. It is best to do these in batches so as not to crowd the pan otherwise the meat will start stewing too early.
  • Step 2 Once all the meat has browned return all the meat to the pan. Add all the other ingredients, whack heat up till it boils, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3/4 hours. Add the beans in the last 30 mins of cooking. Once cooked the meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Best served with long grain rice.

10 thoughts on “Jamaican Oxtail and Butter Bean Stew”

  • I have to say that I was never a big fan of Oxtail. Yet I went to my mom’s last week sometime and she was cooking Oxtail and I have to tell you I sucked the marrow out of the bone hahahaha. It was just so good, you are so right on these cold days and even colder nights there is nothing better than tuckining into an earthy meal that really hits the spot, xoxo

  • even though i read through your recipe first it does say “add all other ingredients and whack up the heat” which i have just done including the butter beans I hope this works ok I have another can I can add at the end if i like
    thanks for the recipe and I am looking forward to it just 3 or 4 hours to wait.

    • Hi Dan – thanks for your comment. I’ve amended the steps slightly to say “add all other ingredients (apart from the butter beans) and whack up the heat” as the beans can mash out if added too early, on the other hand though it will help thicken the sauce. Either way, it should still taste great.

  • I am making your dish right now. The smells your recipe is filling my whole house with right now are totally irresistable! Amazing! Great work, my dear!

  • have bought my oxtail – will marinade tonight – tomorrow am cooking it for an oxtail virgin – hopefully it will be love – thanks for your recipe – maggie

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