Oxtail & Butter Beans

If there's one thing I used to miss during my pescatarian days it was definitely oxtail. I love oxtail!! If I'm ordering from a Caribbean take away I will always...literally always choose oxtail with plain rice, coleslaw and fried plantain. When cooked correctly it is such a tender meat and its gelatinous nature adds a slight sweetness that I just enjoy so much. It took me many years to come to the realisation that oxtail was literally an ox’s tail and if you go the butcher’s they will usually have whole tails for sale as well as pieces. I always select a whole tail and then ask them to cut it into medium size pieces for me. That way I can pick out the tails I think look freshest and most meaty, and you can get a mixture of different cuts.

Oxtail is traditionally cooked with butter beans which are included in this recipe, although I don't really care for them and rarely ever add them in. When I do though, I don’t like to add too many as they thicken the gravy as they soften and can create an undesirable consistency.

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DifficultyIntermediate

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time2 hrs 30 minsTotal Time2 hrs 45 mins

 1 kg oxtailcut into medium pieces, washed
 400 g butter beans usually 1 tin
 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
 8 bay leaves
 2 garlic clovescrushed
 scotch bonnet peppersapprox. 1-2
 1 onionchopped
 1 scallionsquashed
 ½ red sweet pepperchopped
 ½ large carrotchopped
 ¼ cho cho (chayote)peeled & chopped
 2 tbsp sea saltor to taste
 1 ½ tbsp ground pimento
 1 tbsp mixed herbs
 1 tbsp ginger purée
 1 tbsp brown sugar
 ½ tbsp garlic purée
 ½ tbsp Sarson's gravy browning
 1 tsp garlic granules
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp paprika
 ½ tsp curry powder
 2 tbsp coconut oil
 2 l hot water

PREP
1

Prepare your meat by rinsing it off in some cold water and vinegar or lemon juice.

2

Add in 1 ½ tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tbsp mixed herbs, ½ tsp curry powder, 1 tsp garlic granules, ½ tbsp ginger purée, ½ tbsp ground pimento and ½ tbsp gravy browning.

3

Use your hands to rub the seasoning into the meat until it is mixed well.

4

Add in the onion, red pepper, carrot, cho-cho, garlic cloves and mix.

5

Add the fresh thyme and scallion and leave to marinate overnight or as long as possible.

METHOD
6

Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch pot (or another deep pot) and add in the meat and vegetables.

7

Lightly brown oxtail meat on a high heat for 2 minutes and then stir and place the pot lid on top.

8

Leave your oxtail to cook on a high heat for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to sweat, after which time liquid should be accumulating in the bottom of the pot.

9

Add in 1 litre of hot water, the bay leaves and scotch bonnet peppers and leave to boil on a high heat for 1 hr–1 hr 15 mins.

10

Stir the pot every so often, taking care to remove the scotch bonnets whilst stirring.

11

By this time a lot of the water should have reduced however, the meat will not be tender enough.

12

Add in another litre of hot water and 1 tbsp of ground pimento, ½ tbsp paprika, ½ tbsp mixed herbs, ½ tbsp garlic purée, ½ tbsp ginger purée, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and sea salt to taste if necessary (I use approx. ¼ tbsp).

13

Stir the pot every so often, taking care to remove the scotch bonnets whilst stirring.

14

Leave to cook on a medium-high heat for another 1 hr–1 hr 15 mins, until the meat is tender and easy to remove off of the bone. The water should have reduced significantly to a nice gravy.

15

If you think after 1hr 15 mins that the meat is still not soft enough turn the heat down to a medium-low heat and leave it to simmer until you are happy with the texture.

16

Drain the water off of the butter beans and add them into the pot, stir and leave to simmer on a low heat for approx. 15 mins until beans have softened.

17

Remove from the heat and serve with rice & peas or plain rice, fried plantain and coleslaw.


As with my curry goat recipe I don’t like to add anything to thicken the gravy, however if you do add too much water you can use cornflour to thicken it.

Adding the brown sugar helps to balance out the savoury flavours in this dish; start with 1 tablespoon and see how you feel but I do know a few people that prefer it on the sweeter side.

Hopefully you are able to find a butcher that you can trust to sell you fresh meat; on average this amount of oxtail should be cooked within 3 hours, so if you find that after 3 hours of cooking it is still not soft then you may have been sold old/low quality meat ☹

Finally, it’s extremely important that you use Sarson’s Gravy Browning specifically, as other brands have a slightly bitter taste and can potentially ruin your dish.

Enjoy! 😊


Ingredients

 1 kg oxtailcut into medium pieces, washed
 400 g butter beans usually 1 tin
 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
 8 bay leaves
 2 garlic clovescrushed
 scotch bonnet peppersapprox. 1-2
 1 onionchopped
 1 scallionsquashed
 ½ red sweet pepperchopped
 ½ large carrotchopped
 ¼ cho cho (chayote)peeled & chopped
 2 tbsp sea saltor to taste
 1 ½ tbsp ground pimento
 1 tbsp mixed herbs
 1 tbsp ginger purée
 1 tbsp brown sugar
 ½ tbsp garlic purée
 ½ tbsp Sarson's gravy browning
 1 tsp garlic granules
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tsp paprika
 ½ tsp curry powder
 2 tbsp coconut oil
 2 l hot water

Directions

PREP
1

Prepare your meat by rinsing it off in some cold water and vinegar or lemon juice.

2

Add in 1 ½ tbsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp paprika, ½ tbsp mixed herbs, ½ tsp curry powder, 1 tsp garlic granules, ½ tbsp ginger purée, ½ tbsp ground pimento and ½ tbsp gravy browning.

3

Use your hands to rub the seasoning into the meat until it is mixed well.

4

Add in the onion, red pepper, carrot, cho-cho, garlic cloves and mix.

5

Add the fresh thyme and scallion and leave to marinate overnight or as long as possible.

METHOD
6

Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch pot (or another deep pot) and add in the meat and vegetables.

7

Lightly brown oxtail meat on a high heat for 2 minutes and then stir and place the pot lid on top.

8

Leave your oxtail to cook on a high heat for 15 minutes to allow the vegetables to sweat, after which time liquid should be accumulating in the bottom of the pot.

9

Add in 1 litre of hot water, the bay leaves and scotch bonnet peppers and leave to boil on a high heat for 1 hr–1 hr 15 mins.

10

Stir the pot every so often, taking care to remove the scotch bonnets whilst stirring.

11

By this time a lot of the water should have reduced however, the meat will not be tender enough.

12

Add in another litre of hot water and 1 tbsp of ground pimento, ½ tbsp paprika, ½ tbsp mixed herbs, ½ tbsp garlic purée, ½ tbsp ginger purée, 1 tbsp of brown sugar and sea salt to taste if necessary (I use approx. ¼ tbsp).

13

Stir the pot every so often, taking care to remove the scotch bonnets whilst stirring.

14

Leave to cook on a medium-high heat for another 1 hr–1 hr 15 mins, until the meat is tender and easy to remove off of the bone. The water should have reduced significantly to a nice gravy.

15

If you think after 1hr 15 mins that the meat is still not soft enough turn the heat down to a medium-low heat and leave it to simmer until you are happy with the texture.

16

Drain the water off of the butter beans and add them into the pot, stir and leave to simmer on a low heat for approx. 15 mins until beans have softened.

17

Remove from the heat and serve with rice & peas or plain rice, fried plantain and coleslaw.

Oxtail & Butter Beans

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Shenade
    20th April 2020 at 11:41

    I love your recipes honestly. I’ve used tbe mutton and cornmeal porridge so far and i can’t wait to try this one. Thank you!

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