Lyn’s Oxtails

Feb 3, 2012 by


Lyn’s Oxtails with carrots and white kidney beans


Oxtail is one of my most favourite and beloved dishes – ever. It’s a popular Jamaican meal which has a deep, rich flavour that I love so much. It’s a heavy meat so I choose not to eat it too often. I think its safe to say I have it about 3-4 times per year, at most. I’ve had it at a few restaurants here in Canada as well as in Jamaica but I’ve always been concerned with the taste and how it is prepared. Oxtails taste differently every where I go. Some places are better at preparing it than others, and that’s expected.

Traditionally, the Oxtails are seasoned (often overnight) then browned in oil before being cooked down in water over a few hours, and may include dumplings or as we call them in certain dishes – “spinners” (elongated shaped dumplings). This is how my maternal grandmother used to cook it for me and it took her hours! I have fond memories of her at the stove making it, because we both loved it so much. Alas, this is when I was young and slender and nothing could change my figure (LOL). So now that I’m older and more conscious of what I consume, I try to have my favourite things in moderation. I also find ways to prepare them that I find acceptable. For me, this means no frying in oil. This may not be acceptable to some traditionalists, and that is okay :-)

I bake my Oxtails in the oven. I’ve been doing this for years and I’m thinking it tastes better than some of what I’ve had at restaurants… hmmm…

Here’s how I do it.


Lyn’s Oxtails

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8


  • 3lbs Oxtails
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 Tsp All Purpose Seasoning
  • 2 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Pimento Seeds
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot, sliced about 1/4 inch
  • 2 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 Can White Kidney Beans (Or Lima), rinsed and drained


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. In a deep bowl, mix oxtail and ingredients together
  3. Once combined, pour into a large oven-proof baking dish with a cover
  4. Set timer for 4 hours
  5. check every hour and add water (1/4 cup or so to keep the base moist) to ensure it doesn't dry out (or burn)
  6. After 1 hour, I usually have to add more all-purpose seasoning and water. Stir to combine. Then add white kidney beans and carrots at the 3rd hour. Cover and cook for an hour
  7. Within the last hour, check to see that the meat is soft, tender and falling off the bone
  8. Depending on the size of the meat, it may need an additional 30 minutes or so to cook
  9. Serve with white rice or Jamaican style rice and peas


It is a good idea to season the oxtails and allow them to rest in the refrigerator overnight for the best flavour.

When purchasing, pick up Oxtails or request that it be cut into small pieces (2-3 inches in diameter) as they cook in about 3 hours. Larger pieces take a lot longer.


I should mention that there is usually a certain amount of “heat” in most Jamaican fare. And by “heat”, I’m referring to Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper. If you wanted to add heat, I would probably add the pepper at the beginning and remove it half way through so that it does not burst. I personally cannot eat too much pepper because it gives me some major heartburn! Plus, my little ones palates are so darn sensitive. A little is fine though, it gives it a little extra kick.

There are so many variations of Oxtails that I would love to try. One of my Aunts introduced me to this method (as in, using the oven). Another Aunt of mine prepares her Ox with BEER. I think I’ll be giving her a call soon for that recipe :-)


A special shout out to my cousin Shelley – Happy Birthday sweetie! This recipe is for you ~ now at least you’ll have it in writing :-)

Take care, guys! Have an awesome weekend! ~ Lyn



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  1. Now that’s a Jamaican favourite! I’ve never tried cooking it in the oven. I should try it next time. I usually fry mine, but only by greasing the pot, similar to what would be done for baking. I find the oxtail has enough natural oil in it so I keep the oil to the bare minimum … I should try the oven method next time I do it and see how it turns out!

    • Absolutely, Ox Tail definitely releases its own fat, which is why I personally don’t use oil at all when I do it this way. Try it out and let me know how it goes :-)

  2. Looks like a really comforting and delicious.
    As for the Scotch Bonnet…if I use them, I’ll chop it up and add it in. I’m curious, is it usually added in whole into Jamaican cuisine?

    • Hello Joyti! ~ Adding a whole pepper is dependent on the dish. Usually, a whole pepper may be added into Rice and Peas (A Sunday side dish – Jamaican staple), Curried Goat and perhaps OxTail, as mentioned in my post. I’m sure its chopped up for certain dishes also – the only one that comes to mind is the seasoning for Jerk Chicken. The thing is, if you leave the pepper in whole… and it breaks open… it may actually ruin the dish. This is why I was always told to remove the pepper before this happens! :-) Thank you so much for stoping by. I hope to see you again – I checked your website… so cool!!

  3. One of my all time favourites! I’ve been making oxtail stew well over 2 decades and have never made it in the oven, might give it a go next time! I have my tried and tested recipe on my site if you ever fancy a comparison! Lovely to meet you, back soon! Lin xx

    • Hi Lin! Nice to meet you too! I followed you on Twitter also :-) I’ll be checking out your Oxtail recipe! And sure, try it in the oven… you never know, you just might like it! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. A hearty, comforting and delicious dish! I have just opened a bottle of OZ Shiraz..perfect for this OX tail dish 😉

  5. Kim

    Although I’m about 7 or 8 years beef free oxtail was my absolute favorite growing up. As you mentioned my mom used to make it with beer, something a lot of the Cubans in Miami do. They love their oxtail too but theirs is a little more tomato-ee (if you get what I’m saying). Anyways, your picture has me rethinking my decision….just great Lyn!!

    • Hi Kim! I’m sure once in a blue moon wont hurt :-) Oxtail is always my personal exception lol! I will have to google a cuban recipe although I can’t imagine tomatoes with my oxtail… but you never know! It may look like something nice to try :-)

  6. Me too! Me too! I love oxtails… This must be so good! It’s been very cold here and I’m craving for this! Such a delicious comforting dish!

    • Aren’t they wonderful, Nami? I do love the way I do it, but I wonder if there is another version out there that I might like. We’ll see! Now I’m craving it too! Ugh! lol

  7. maxine

    I like you only eat Oxtail 3 times out of the year because as you said its a heavy dish,though my favourite,
    I also add a whole scotch bonnet pepper and with the thorough cooking it never tastes hot-it blends in to the meal,which most are surprised about.


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