What Oxtail Is
Oxtail is very much as the name implies. It is the tail of a bovine (cow). Oxtail, while not common in the U.S., is a very common ingredient in Jamaican dishes. As these have recently become popular in the U.S., many people are looking for Jamaican oxtail recipes.
How It Is Used
Oxtail can be used in a variety of dishes. It is best prepared in a crock pot or steam cooker in order to get the savory taste from the bone itself. Remember that it is basically mainly bone and the flavor comes from the marrow itself. If you have trouble finding oxtail, you may use other cuts of beef to make oxtail recipes. To make it truly Jamaican, you can add 1 tsp of allspice to any oxtail recipe you find. It is especially good for stews and soups.
Where You Can Get Oxtail
Oxtail used to be regarded as just a thruway by butchers. As it has now become more common, usage has reverted more or less back to the time when beef became a popular food when all of the animal was used. It may still be hard to find on the spur of the moment, so be sure to place your order with the butcher ahead of time.
2 lbs. (1 kg.) oxtail
1/4 cup oil
5 cups water
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp of Allspice1 clove garlic, chopped
1 sprig thyme
3 slices hot pepper
2 cans of broad beans
Brown oxtail in oil. Add 4 cups of water and boil until tender. Add water if necessary. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme and hot pepper, allspice and salt. Stir for a few minutes. Let simmer until thick. Add remaining water and broad beans. Lower heat, cover and simmer again for 10 minutes.
You may vary the recipe by adding other vegetables if you desire. This dish goes well with rice and peas.
Other recipes using oxtail abound. You may find them in many cookbooks or you can find them on the internet. Remember to get the Jamaican flavor, always add allspice to any oxtail recipe. As the above recipe will create a great gravy, you should also have a good bread on hand for those of you who like to sop up the juices. After using a few oxtail recipes, your friends will think that you learned to cook in the Caribbean islands. If you don’t give away your secret, no one will know. If you are the kindly type, you might share your recipes with them.