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Are you searching for a delicious Jamaican oxtail recipe that can be made in a slow cooker? You need to make this scrumptious slow cooker Jamaican oxtail stew.

The Jamaican stew is infused with the flavors of tender oxtail meat, brown sugar, and allspice. This easy Jamaican cuisine recipe is ideal for special occasions or a cozy dinner with the family. 

oxtail stew in a bowl with bone, beans, carrots

If you enjoy serving oxtails, then be sure to visit my recipes for Rich And Tender Instant Pot Oxtail Recipe and Learn How To Can Oxtail Bone Broth using your pressure cooker canner.

What Are Oxtails?

Oxtails are a flavorful and tender cut of meat from cattle. With a combination of meat, bone, and cartilage, beef oxtail is rich in gelatin and perfect for slow cooking methods, braising, or stewing. Oxtails are a popular ingredient in many cuisines. They add depth and richness to dishes such as oxtail soup, stews, curries, and braised preparations. 

Ingredients For Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Jamaican oxtail stew is pure comfort food and only requires a few basic ingredients that can be found at a local grocery store.

​Marinade

ingredients for marinade
  • Oxtails: When choosing quality fresh oxtails, look for cuts with vibrant red color, well-marbled meat, and a firm, moist texture
  • Marinade: This is an important step to infuse flavor into your oxtails before cooking. Soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic, ground allspice, smoked paprika, browning sauce, and brown sugar infuse a sweet-savory depth of flavor into the oxtails. 
  • Stew base: For the base of this stew, you will add beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and brown sugar. 

Stew Ingredients

beans, carrots, garlic, onions, tomato past
  • Vegetables: Adding fresh garlic, onions, and carrots. 
  • Beans: Kidney beans are a staple ingredient in Jamaican food recipes, adding a hearty texture, protein content, and a distinct flavor that complements the vibrant spices and seasonings commonly used in the cuisine. If you do not like kidney beans, like my husband, add lima beans or small butter beans instead. 

Tip: To make this Jamcian crock pot, you could also use oxtail bone broth

See the recipe card below for a complete ingredient list and measurements. 

How To Make Jamaican Oxtail In A Slow Cooker

Jamaican oxtail stew is incredibly easy to prepare in a slow cooker, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully while creating tender, fall-off-the-bone meat and a rich, aromatic sauce that will leave you craving more.

How To Prepare Oxtails

Before cooking oxtail, it’s a good idea to clean them to remove any impurities or debris, which may include hair. 

  1. Trim any excess fat and discard.
raw oxtail with fat trimmed off

2. Place the oxtail pieces in a large bowl and cover them with water, adding a tablespoon of vinegar.

oxtail in a bowl with vinegar going in

3. Let the oxtails set for 5 minutes, then rinse the oxtail and remove any hair. 

4. Pat the oxtails dry with paper towels.

washed and dried oxtails

Safety Tip: To prevent the spread of germs while handling raw meat, it’s important to wear disposable gloves on your hands. Additionally, be sure to use a cutting board that can be sanitized with bleach after use. It’s also recommended to disinfect any surfaces or utensils that may have come into contact with the raw meat.

Marinating Oxtails

oxtail in ziplock bag marinating
  1. Place the oxtails in a sturdy ziplock bag: Ensure the bag is large enough to hold the oxtails and the marinade.
  2. Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, ground allspice, smoked paprika, browning sauce, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the marinade into the zip lock bag: Carefully pour the marinade mixture into the bag containing the oxtails.
  4. Seal the bag: Press out any excess air from the bag, then seal it tightly. Make sure the oxtails are entirely coated in the marinade.
  5. Massage the marinade into the meat: Gently massage the bag to ensure the marinade is evenly distributed and covers all parts of the oxtails.
  6. Refrigerate and marinate: Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator and let the oxtails marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably 3 hours if you have time, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Braise The Oxtails

braising oxtails in a cast iron skillet
  1. Preheat the pan: Place a large, heavy-bottomed large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and allow it to preheat. Once heated, add the avocado oil. 
  2. Remove From Marinade: Remove the oxtails from the marinade. Discard the remaining marinade. 
  3. Sear the oxtails: Add a small amount of oil to the preheated pan, then sear the oxtails on all sides until they develop a brown crust. This step adds flavor and helps to seal the juices.
  4. Remove the oxtails: Once the oxtails have been browned, remove them from the pan and transfer them to the slow cooker.
  5. Deglaze the pan: Pour a 1/2 cup of beef broth into the pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the juice into the slow cooker.

Cooking Oxtails In Slow Cooker

  1. Add diced carrots, onions, and garlic to the slow cooker.
carrots onions garlic chopped

2. Pour in the remaining beef broth, thyme, tomato paste, and brown sugar.

oxtail carrots onions broth tomato paste garlic brown sugar

3. Stir the ingredients to blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

oxtail stew ready to cook in the slow cooker

4. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and shake vigorously to blend.

5. Remove the lid of the slow cooker. Oxtail tends to be greasy after cooking, so for best results, use a large spoon to gently skim the surface of the stew with a spoon or ladle to remove the layer of fat. If you prefer, you can carefully use a paper towel or absorbent cloth to blot the surface of the stew. Gently press the paper towel onto the top of the stew to absorb the excess grease. Be careful not to disturb the stew too much.

6. Take out the oxtails and place them on a plate to cool.

7. Increase the slow cooker’s setting to high. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cover the slow cooker and continue cooking for one more hour to thicken the stew.

8. Once the oxtails are cool enough to handle, remove any bits of meat and put them back into the slow cooker. Cover and continue cooking on high.

oxtail bones and cooked meat

9. When the cooking time is over, remove the lid and turn off the slow cooker. Allow the stew to cool for a few minutes.

How To Make A Spicy Oxtail Recipe

Add a scotch bonnet pepper to add a spicy flavor to your Jamaican oxtail recipe. Wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after touching them to avoid irritation.

  1. Depending on your preference, thinly slice the scotch bonnet pepper into rounds or finely mince it. Remember that a little goes a long way, so adjust the quantity based on your desired spiciness level.
  2. Add the pepper to the stew about 30 minutes to an hour before the stew is finished cooking. Carefully add the sliced or minced Scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Stir well to distribute the heat throughout the stew. Remember that the longer the pepper cooks, the more it infuses its spiciness into the stew, so wait until the end to add them to this slow cooker recipe. 
oxtail stew in bowl

Tips and Questions About Cooking With Oxtails

With a few simple tips, you will be able to make this authentic Jamaican oxtail recipe in your slow cooker. Everyone will be so impressed!

Do you have to brown oxtails before cooking?

Browning oxtails before cooking is optional. However, it enhances flavor and appearance by creating caramelization and sealing in juices for a more succulent result.

Do you have to soak oxtails before cooking?

Soaking oxtails in vinegar and water before cooking can help tenderize the meat by breaking down connective tissue and reducing its toughness. Additionally, the acidity in vinegar can help remove any potential gamey flavors, resulting in a more pleasant taste. You can enhance their tenderness and overall flavor profile by soaking oxtails in a vinegar and water mixture for 15 minutes, then rinse.

What kind of vinegar do you use to clean oxtails?

When using vinegar to clean oxtails, you can use various types of vinegar. The most commonly used vinegar for this purpose is white distilled vinegar. 

Is oxtail stew greasy?

Oxtail stew can sometimes be greasy due to the natural fat content of the oxtails. Here’s a simple method to remove excess grease from a slow cooker oxtail stew:

  1. Allow the stew to cool: Turn off the slow cooker and let the stew cool for a few minutes. This will help the fat rise to the surface, making it easier to remove.
  2. Use a spoon or ladle: Gently skim the surface of the stew with a spoon or ladle to remove the layer of fat. Tilt the spoon or ladle to collect and discard the excess grease.
  3. Use a fat separator or chilling method: Another option is to use a fat separator, which is a kitchen tool specifically designed to separate fat from liquids. Alternatively, you can transfer the stew to a container and refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight. The fat will solidify on top, allowing you to easily scoop it off before reheating.
  4. Blotting method: If you prefer, you can use a paper towel or absorbent cloth to blot the surface of the stew. Gently press the paper towel onto the top of the stew to absorb the excess grease. Be careful not to disturb the stew too much.

What if my stew is too runny or watery? 

If your stew is too runny or watery, you can thicken it by creating a cornstarch slurry using equal parts cornstarch and water, then stirring it into the stew and cooking for a few more minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can remove some of the liquid from the stew, transfer it to a separate saucepan, and simmer it on the stove over medium heat until it reduces and thickens before adding it back to the stew. For more tips on thicking crockpot recipes, visit: How To Thicken Soups, Stews, and Chili In A Slow Cooker. 

Serving Ideas For Jamaican Slow Cooker Oxtails

This Jamaican style oxtail stew makes a hearty dish, and with the addition of a few classic sides, you have a Caribbean meal.

  • Rice and Peas: In Jamacia, they serve traditional dishes such as sweet white rice and peas (made with kidney beans). This will complement the flavors of oxtail stew perfectly. The coconut rice provides a neutral base, while the peas add a touch of creaminess and earthiness. Top with diced green onions.
  • Cabbage Salad: A refreshing and crunchy cabbage salad with a tangy vinaigrette would perfectly balance this savory stew. 
  • Cucumber Chutney: Spicy cucumber chutney is no exception. With Caribbean roots, this chutney comes together in just minutes and is gluten-free and vegan.
  • Roti: If you’re looking for a Caribbean-inspired bread option, serve oxtail stew with roti, a soft and flaky flatbread that can be used to scoop up the stew.
  • Humming Bird Cake: Hummingbird cake has its origins in Jamaica. It’s called Hummingbird Cake after the national bird of Jamaica, the scissor-tail hummingbird. Locally, this bird is called the doctor bird, and the cake is referred to as “doctor bird cake.” Whatever you choose to call it, it has become quintessentially Southern.

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oxtail stew in a bowl with kidney beans/
5 from 1 rating

Jamaican Oxtail Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 6 people
This classic Jamaican oxtail recipe for stew simmers in a slow cooker with a savory sauce infused with classic Jamaican seasonings.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

hand showing you to tap on the ingredient to add to your walmart and target list.

Ingredients
 

Marinade

Braise Oxtails

Cooking Oxtails In Slow Cooker

Thickener

Instructions
 

Prepare Oxtails

  • Trim: With a sharp knife, trim any excess fat and discard
    2 pounds oxtails
  • Prepare: Place the oxtail pieces in a large bowl and cover them with water, adding a tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Soak: Let the oxtails set for 5 minutes, then rinse the oxtail and remove any hair.
  • Dry: Pat the oxtails dry with paper towels.

Marinate Oxtails

  • Place the oxtails in a sturdy ziplock bag: Ensure the bag is large enough to hold the oxtails and the marinade.
  • Prepare the marinade: In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, ground allspice, smoked paprika, browning sauce, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and olive oil. Mix well to ensure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
    1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 4 cloves garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon browning sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pour the marinade into the zip lock bag: Carefully pour the marinade mixture into the bag containing the oxtails.
  • Seal the bag: Press out any excess air from the bag, then seal it tightly. Make sure the oxtails are entirely coated in the marinade.
  • Massage the marinade into the meat: Gently massage the bag to ensure the marinade is evenly distributed and covers all parts of the oxtails.
  • Refrigerate and marinate: Place the sealed bag in the refrigerator and let the oxtails marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably 3 hours if you have time, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Braise Oxtails

  • Preheat the pan: Place a large, heavy-bottomed large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and allow it to preheat. Once heated, add the avocado oil.
    2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Remove From Marinade: Remove the oxtails from the marinade. Discard the remaining marinade.
  • Sear the oxtails: Add a small amount of oil to the preheated pan, then sear the oxtails on all sides until they develop a brown crust. This step adds flavor and helps to seal the juices.
  • Remove the oxtails: Once the oxtails have been browned, remove them from the pan and transfer them to the slow cooker.
  • Deglaze the pan: Pour a 1/2 cup of beef broth into the pan. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour the juice into the slow cooker.

Cooking Oxtails In Slow Cooker

  • Add diced carrots, onions, and garlic to the slow cooker.
    1 cup carrots, 1/2 cup onion, 4 cloves garlic
  • Pour in the remaining beef broth, thyme, tomato paste, and brown sugar.
    32 ounces beef broth, 1 teaspoon thyme, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Stir the ingredients to blend well. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Thicken Sauce & Pull Meat

  • Make Thickener: After 7 hours of cooking have passed prepare the thickener. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/2 cup of water. Close the lid and shake vigorously to blend.
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Skim Fat: Remove the lid of the slow cooker. Oxtail tends to be greasy after cooking, so for best results, use a large spoon to gently skim the surface of the stew with a spoon or ladle to remove the layer of fat. If you prefer, you can carefully use a paper towel or absorbent cloth to blot the surface of the stew. Gently press the paper towel onto the top of the stew to absorb the excess grease. Be careful not to disturb the stew too much.
  • Remove Bones and Meat: Take out the oxtails and place them on a plate to cool.
  • Heat On High: Increase the slow cooker's setting to high. Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cover the slow cooker and continue cooking for one more hour to thicken the stew.
  • Pull Meat: Once the oxtails are cool enough to handle, remove any bits of meat and put them back into the slow cooker. Cover and continue cooking on high.
  • Serve: When the cooking time is over, remove the lid and turn off the slow cooker. Allow the stew to cool for a few minutes then serve.

Notes

How To Make Spicy Oxtail Stew
Add a scotch bonnet pepper to add a spicy flavor to your Jamaican oxtail stew. Wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after touching them to avoid irritation.
  1. Depending on your preference, thinly slice the scotch bonnet pepper into rounds or finely mince it. Remember that a little goes a long way, so adjust the quantity based on your desired spiciness level.
  2. Add the pepper to the stew about 30 minutes to an hour before the stew is finished cooking. Carefully add the sliced or minced Scotch bonnet pepper to the pot. Stir well to distribute the heat throughout the stew. Remember that the longer the pepper cooks, the more it infuses its spiciness into the stew, so wait until the end to add them to this slow cooker recipe. 
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 511kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Cholesterol: 166mg, Sodium: 1944mg, Potassium: 364mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 3910IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 7mg
Cuisine: Jamaican
Course: Soup
Author: Gina Dickson

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