The homemade Jamaican oxtail stew is inarguably a favorite among many and has become a highly sought-after cuisine. Its popularity is most likely linked to its rich, flavored taste as a wide variety of spices and vegetables are used to prepare this delicacy.
The main ingredient in the preparation of the Jamaican oxtail stew is, not surprisingly, oxtails, as there can’t be an oxtail stew without oxtails.
What are Oxtails?
Oxtails are simply the culinary name for the tail of beef cattle. They were initially used to refer to the tail of ox in particular but now include the tail of all kinds of cattle.
Usually, they’re skinned and cut into smaller segments for sale and are typically cooked with a combination of spices, herbs, and vegetables and produce a unique flavor and taste.
The oxtails contain a high quantity of gelatin, which is why it’s often braised during preparation. The gelatin, and the bones, contribute to producing a highly flavored stock.
We’re going to be talking about a simple way you can put this delicacy together.
Homemade Jamaican Oxtail Stew
- 2.2 lbs Oxtail Meat
- 2 tbsp Seasoning Powder Maggi All Purpose & Maggi Chicken Seasoning
- 2 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Onion Powder
- 2 tbsp Browning Sauce
- 3 counts Green onions (Scallions) Chopped
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1 count Bell Pepper
- 1 bulb White Onion Chopped
- 3 tbsp Fresh Ginger
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 can Butter Beans
- 2 tbsp Thyme Chopped
Preparing the Oxtails
- Before preparing the stew, there's a need to season and prepare the oxtail itself properly, as this will add to the overall flavor and taste of the meal. Here's how to prepare it:
- Cut any excess fat off the meat using a knife, although you can leave a little on it depending on your preferences. This process is to prevent everything from becoming too greasy.
- Wash the meat properly and put it in a bowl. You can use vinegar, lemon, or lime to wash the oxtails.
- Put it into a bowl and add good servings of garlic, ginger, chopped onions, thyme, allspice, chili, and any other spice.
- Mix it thoroughly so that the meat is fully covered in it and allow it to marinate. It's best if this gets done the previous night so it can stay for about 7-8 hours, but you can also put it inside a freezer for about 30 minutes if you're in a hurry.
How to Cook the Stew
- After the oxtails have been properly marinated, get a large enough pan and pour your vegetable oil into it.
- Select the oxtails only from the bowl and carefully put each into the pan. Your heat should be medium.
- Braise the oxtails for about 30 minutes though you'll need to be checking in on it and turning it over in the pan.
- When the oxtails have lost the reddish color and turned brown, add about 3 cups of hot water to soften them further. This process is to make sure it's tender enough.
- Add the rest of the spices and broth and stir well. Allow it to cook for about 25 minutes.
- Mix your soy sauce with your ketchup in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the mix and pour into the pan on fire. Allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add your can of butter beans after draining and rinsing it out, then stir it properly to get an even mix.
- Allow it to cook for about 40 minutes until the oxtails are tender and your sauce is thick enough. Your oxtail stew is ready to be eaten.
How are Oxtails Served?
The Jamaican oxtail stew can be eaten with a variety of side dishes. Traditionally, it’s served with Jamaica rice and peas with plantain, but it can also be served with any of the following:
- Rice and beans
- Coconut rice
- Skillet cornbread
- White rice
- cornmeal coo coo
How Can You Avoid a Very Oily Oxtail Stew?
If your stew was to end up too oily, it is sure to affect the overall outcome of the meal and possibly deprive you of some of the rich taste that makes it very enjoyable. To avoid this, you can do any of the following:
- Cut off all the visible fat before cooking your oxtails.
- Scoop out fat from your already made stew if it’s too oily.
- Scoop out any solidified fat after you’ve refrigerated the stew.
- Use a paper towel to soak up some oil from the surface of the stew after cooking it.
Does Homemade Jamaican Oxtail Stew Have Nutritional Benefits?
Aside from the benefits that one stands to gain from eating oxtails, the vast assortment of spices and vegetables used to prepare this stew is bound to provide a wide range of health benefits to the body.
Let’s consider the benefits of Oxtail:
- It is an excellent source of proteins for the body. A 100g serving of oxtail will provide almost two-thirds of the daily protein requirement.
- It is a good source of selenium, an essential mineral in activating antioxidant enzymes in the body.
- It is a good source of iron which helps to preserve many vital functions in the body
- It also contains a trace amount of calcium which is helpful for strong bones and teeth.
How to Store Oxtail Stew
The best way to store the Jamaican oxtail stew if you want to preserve it for an extended period is to put it in a freezer. Here, it can last for as long as three months.
Before reheating, you’ll need to thaw the frozen stew in the fridge first and keep the heat low. If it’s refrigerated, it can last for about two days.
For preserving the oxtails themselves, wrap them tightly and keep them in the refrigerator. It can last for up to a year if kept this way, although it lasts roughly 3 – 5 days if it isn’t wrapped tightly.
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