Food & Recipes

Recipe: Stewed Caribbean Oxtail (with Butter Beans)

How to cook Stewed Oxtail with Butter Beans

Recipe by Award winning Caribbean cookbook author, Chris De La Rosa


  • 2lbs of oxtail (ask your butcher to cut it into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 tin of butter beans (lima)
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 scallion (green onions)
  • 1/2 a scotch bonnet pepper (I used a whole one)
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

* You’ll need about 3 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice to wash the oxtail pieces with (use vinegar as well).


  • Place the cut pieces of oxtail in a bowl and pour the lime juice over it, give it a good stir and pour in some water. Wash each piece off, then drain. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Now in a fairly large pan, heat the vegetable oil on high and brown the pieces of oxtail. Try not to crowd the pan or it will not brown properly and it will release a tons of liquid. I did mine in two batches.
    While this was browning (takes about 15 minutes) I prepared the other ingredients (wash, peeled and chopped)
  • With the pieces of oxtail all browned, you may need an extra tablespoon of vegetable oil in the pan (not mentioned in the ingredients list above).. add the diced onion and garlic. Let that cook on medium heat for a few minutes. Then add back the pieces of oxtail and top with the herbs and vegetables.
  • Give that good stir, then add the salt, black pepper and allspice. Now top with the 5 cups of water (enough water to cover everything) and bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, reduce to as low as you can and have it at a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and let that simmer (braise) for about 2 hrs or until the meat is tender. We’d like to have the meat fall off the bones. Depending on the age of the oxtail it may take a bit longer for you. If you have a pressure cooker, this will save you a ton of cooking time. NOTE: If you’re using dried butter beans, now would be the time to put them in as well, so they too get tender.
  • Rinse the can of beans to remove the salty brine-like solution its packed in and add it to the pot. Cover and let cook for another 20 minutes.. until the beans are infused with the flaovours of the stewed oxtails and so that the gravy thickens up a bit. Be gently when handling the beans as they are very tender and can fall apart very easily. NOTE: I cheated a bit and added a 1/4 teaspoon of Caribbean style browning. But this is totally optional.. I wanted a nice caramel colour to my finished dish.

Bon appetit and enjoy your Stewed Caribbean Oxtail! And if you are cooking stewed oxtails for the first time, tell us how the food turns out via any of our social media pages.

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