I have always loved Oxtail, peas and rice, and plantain. Whenever someone would ask what my favorite food was, that was my answer! Well, that and my mom’s lasagna!
Growing up in New York, us West Indians are everywhere, so it’s not hard to find a spot to get some jerk chicken or oxtail platters. However, to be perfectly frank, my Grandmother’s recipe was my absolute favorite! I have tried plenty of Oxtail in my time and none ever matched quite exactly how I liked it/how she made it. So eventually I said Grandma, you have got to show me how to do this! I asked her how to make this before she taught me the sauce so believe me when I say at this point, I have perfected it!
The difficult thing that’s also kind of the best thing is that when you ask your Grandma to teach you a recipe she’s been making her whole life, you know she’s going to give you eyeball measurements! Now this can be tricky when you are trying to tell people how to make it on their own, but it also leaves wiggle room for you to customize the parts you like the most.
I can’t believe I’m giving you my top secret absolute favorite family oxtail recipe, but here we go!
Obviously I love you guys a lot!
First turn stove on high heat, throw in some oil (I use olive) to cover the bottom of the pan and 1 tbsp of garlic. Let it start to get hot and brown a little (don’t burn it).
Next, throw in one chopped onion, a sprinkle of brown sugar, let that start to caramelize and turn down the heat a little to medium and throw in the oxtail (I use two packs from the grocery store). Add plenty of salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, mrs dash, toss the meat around and let it brown on the outside for like at least five mins.
Ok, here’s where you can get a little eyeball-y…
In a separate bowl put a cup of water, chopped carrots, tbsp of wershteschire sauce, 2 tbsp of flour, 2cups of beef stock (sub more water if you don’t have beef stock), cilantro, 4 scallions, 3 tbsp of tomato paste or crushed tomatoes, healthy pour of GRANDMA’S TRINI hot pepper sauce, 2 long pours of browning, n 2 long squirts of ketchup. Yes I said ketchup, just let the magic happen don’t question it! (You can add a tiny bit of ginger if desired. I usually don’t.) Whisk this all together and then throw it in your ox tail pot.
Finally, bring this all to a boil. If you need extra liquid add a little mix of beef stock n water.
As it cooks together you can also add a little more flour if you like your Oxtail gravy thicker but that’s up to you. Once you reach a boil, turn down the stove to a calm simmer for AT LEAST 3 hours. And by at least I mean you will probably want to leave it a little longer so it’s really falling off the bone. You will know by the texture of the gravy and when you fork the meat and it’s falling apart. You can also toss the meat periodically as it cooks.
That’s it! As far as I’m concerned this is the best recipe. It’s one that I hold dear, so please enjoy! Yum Yum Yum :)