Caribbean Oxtail Stew

Posted on March 24, 2021 by Oluwafunmiso “Funso” Fagbongbe, M.D.
Oluwafunmiso “Funso” Fagbongbe, M.D.

Caribbean oxtail stew  data-lightbox='featured'

Internal medicine resident Oluwafunmiso “Funso” Fagbongbe, M.D., who was raised in Mobile, learned to prepare this family favorite as a boy. Oxtail stew is a staple dish in many west African and Caribbean households.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time needed: 2-3 hours

If you cannot find oxtail locally, you may substitute beef stew meat, poultry or fish. You also can choose to make it with no meat for a hardy vegetarian stew.


  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pounds of oxtail cut into medium pieces (or beef stew meat, poultry or fish)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 scotch bonnet chili pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • Salt to taste


  1. Season oxtail with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat until hot.
  3. Add oxtail and sauté, stirring frequently. Scrape browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Sauté until brown. Drain any remaining oil.
  4. Add onions, green onions, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaf and smoked paprika. Stir for about a minute. 
  5. Add 6 cups of water, chili pepper and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil and let simmer until tender (depending on the oxtail size and preference) about two to three hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Before removing from stove, add carrots and potatoes. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, adjusting thickness with water or stock.
  7. Season with salt according to preference. Remove bay leaf.
  8. Serve warm.

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