Marcel's Favorite Jamaican Oxtail Stew

This Jamaican favorite can be served as part of a holiday meal or just because…. Enjoy! 


  • 3 pounds (1.3 kg) oxtails with separated joints 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1 celery rib, chopped 
  • 1 large carrot, chopped 
  • 2 cups (475 ml) stock (beef) 
  • 3 whole cloves garlic, peel still on 
  • One bay leaf 
  • Pinch of thyme 
  • Parsley 
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch segments, large pieces also cut lengthwise 
  • 2 parsnips, cut into 1-inch segments, large pieces also cut lengthwise 
  • 2 turnips or rutabagas, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 


  1. Brown the oxtails: Pat the oxtails dry with paper towels. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium to medium-high heat in a 6-quart Dutch oven. Working in batches, and not crowding the pan, sear the oxtails in hot pan on all sides until golden brown. Use tongs to remove oxtails to a plate, setting aside. 
  2. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery: Add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. 
  3. Add the oxtails, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, salt, stock, wine, then simmer: Add the oxtails back to the pan. Add the whole garlic cloves, the stock, and wine. Add bay leaf, thyme, and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 3 hours, until meat is fork tender. 
  4. Roast the root vegetables: One hour before the meat is done, heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Toss carrots, parsnips, and turnips in olive oil in a roasting pan. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for 1 hour, or until lightly browned and cooked through. 
  5. Skim the fat: When the meat is tender, remove oxtails from the cooking liquid. Either skim the fat off the top with a spoon, use a fat separator to remove the fat, or chill the cooking liquid for several hours so that the fat solidifies, making it easier to remove. If you are making ahead, at this point you can just put the stew in the refrigerator (let come to room temp first), with the oxtails still in it, and let it chill overnight. The next day, scrape off the fat, reheat, and then remove the meat from the dish. 
  6. Strain the solids from the cooking liquid and reduce: Pour the cooking liquid through a mesh strainer into a bowl, using a rubber spatula to press against the vegetable solids caught in the strainer. Discard the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and simmer until reduced by half. 
  7. Add back the oxtails and roasted vegetables: Then add back in the oxtails, and add the roasted vegetables to the pan. Heat on low heat for half an hour for the flavors to meld. Add some chopped parsley before serving. 
  8. Enjoy!

About the Author

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Jennifer Stanford is a sought-after Trust Coach and the CEO of Emergent Performance Solutions, as well as an author and speaker. Her entrepreneurial spirit, combined with years of practical experience gives her specialized insight into business and psychology.

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