Jamaican oxtail with broad beans is a flavorful and hearty dish that’s beloved in Jamaican cuisine. It combines tender oxtail meat with aromatic spices and the earthy taste of broad beans. Here’s how to make it:
- 2-3 pounds oxtail pieces
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons allspice (pimento) berries, crushed
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, whole (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)
- 2 cups broad beans (also known as butter beans or lima beans), fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Water or beef broth, as needed
Prepare the Oxtail:
- Trim any excess fat from the oxtail pieces and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry with paper towels.
- Season the oxtail with salt, black pepper, and crushed allspice berries. Massage the seasonings into the meat and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
Brown the Oxtail:
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the oxtail pieces and brown them on all sides until they develop a rich, deep color. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Remove the browned oxtail from the pot and set it aside.
Saute the Aromatics:
- In the same pot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme sprigs, and chopped scallions. Saute them until they become fragrant and the onions turn translucent.
Return the Oxtail:
- Return the browned oxtail pieces to the pot with the sauteed aromatics.
Add the Liquid and Simmer:
- Pour enough water or beef broth into the pot to cover the oxtail pieces. The amount of liquid you need will depend on the size of your pot and the oxtail pieces. Start with about 4-6 cups of liquid.
- Add the whole Scotch bonnet pepper (be careful not to burst it; you can remove the seeds if you want less heat).
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for 2-2.5 hours or until the oxtail is tender. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed to prevent it from drying out.
Add Broad Beans and Flavorings:
- About 30 minutes before the oxtail is done, add the broad beans to the pot. Stir them into the cooking liquid.
- Add the tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, and continue to simmer until the broad beans are tender and the sauce thickens slightly.
Taste and Adjust Seasonings:
- Taste the oxtail with broad beans and adjust the salt, black pepper, and seasonings to your liking.
- Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and thyme sprigs before serving.
- Serve your Jamaican oxtail with broad beans hot, traditionally over rice and peas or with plain rice. It’s also delicious with fried plantains.
This Jamaican oxtail with broad beans recipe showcases the rich and complex flavors of Jamaican cuisine. The tender oxtail, aromatic spices, and creamy broad beans make it a comforting and satisfying dish. Enjoy the taste of the Caribbean!