By Chef Chris De La Rosa
I shared a similar recipe for oxtails, slowly cooked in Guinness stout, back when our Caribbean Pot website was relatively new, in 2009.
At the time, it turned out to be one of our most favourite — and searched — recipes on our site.
Over the past few months, I have received several requests for an updated version, so I decided to revisit the recipe — and tweak it a bit.
4-5 lbs oxtails (cut/trimmed)
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 stalks celery (diced)
1 large onion (diced)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 heaping tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3 cloves garlic (smashed)
1 1/2 cups Guinness Extra Stout
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
5 allspice berries (pimento)
1 teaspoon salt
2 large carrots (cut into wheels)
2-3 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
Cut the oxtail into one to one-and a-half-inch pieces (ask your butcher) and trim away any excess fat. Then wash with water and lemon juice (not mentioned in the ingredient list), drain well, and pat dry.
Now dust the oxtail in flour, then place into the heated oil (medium flame) and brown, as best you can, on all sides. Try to use a heavy pot for best results.
Please do this in batches, so as not to crowd the pot. Basically, we need a little color and to seal in the juices in the meat. Set aside, as you brown them off.
In the same pot, on low heat setting (add more oil if the pot is dry), add the onion and celery. Then add the garlic, along with the black pepper, and cook for 3 minutes, or so.
Add the pimento (all spice ) berries and tomato paste – and stir well. Cook a further 2-3 minutes, on low heat. Cooking the tomato paste at this point will help it to caramelize and bring out the natural sugars.
Add the oxtails, you browned off earlier, and any juices, in the bowl. Heat up to medium/high, add the salt, then the Guinness and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the niceness on the bottom.
We’ll need more braising liquid, so it’s time for the beef stock and bring to a boil.
Now add the Caribbean Green Seasoning, carrots and bay leaf. As it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add the brown sugar and allow it to braise for 2.5 to 3 hours (in extreme cases, it may take 4 to 4.5 hrs) — or until tender. I had the lid on, but slightly ajar.
Remember to stir, every 15-20 minutes, and keep an eye on the level of liquid, in case you need to add more stock or water.
Two ways to personalize it is to taste, and adjust the salt to your liking (we taste for salt near the end, as the beef stock you use may be heavy in sodium). Then check to make sure the oxtail is as tender as you like, if not, cook it a little longer. Cooking time will vary, according to how big the pieces of oxtail were cut into, and how old the cow was that the oxtails came from.
Turn off the stove, remove the bay leaves, and toss in the parsley. If there’s any fat at the surface, be sure to skim off and discard (NOT down your sink).
When I do such low and slow dishes I like doubling up on the recipe and making enough to freeze for a later day, when I need to get my Stewed Oxtail craving sorted out.
If you can, please support, and should you have questions about this recipe or anything food-related, be sure to Ask Chris.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award-winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes, with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections, globally, every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource for Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.