February 18, 2021 6 min read
Oxtail Caribbean Stew + Bone Broth recipe & blog contributed by @WyldGourmet
This Oxtail Caribbean Stew can be made with most any cut of meat with a bone. Use some whole shanks, or cut and sliced shanks and make a Caribbean Osso Buco. You could use stew meat or cook a roast to use in your oxtail caribbean stew. And think how delicious it would be with short ribs!
But! If you decide to use oxtail, just know, it’s a truly underrated part of our beef and not many people know how wonderful it can be.
A few points about Oxtail:
When you are prepping your oxtail it will either be cut into pieces at the joints or mostly whole. If it is cut, you’re all ready to go. If it is whole you just need to grab the tail and wiggle the smallest end piece and see where the bend is. You can then place a heavy sharp knife (or cleaver) between the joints and press down firmly. If it cuts through, you are there. If not, move your knife up or down until you feel like you are in between the two bones and try again. Once you get your first piece cut you can use it as a guide to the next good place to cut. Each bone is approximately the same length, so finding the “sweet spot” will be easier with each cut.
Making a really nice, flavorful batch of broth from your oxtail is the first on the agenda. Mainly because oxtail is one of those cuts of beef that requires some low and slow cooking to get the meaty portion to easily release from the bone.
The best way to make your oxtail broth flavorful and wonderful is to start with a good sear that will add a beautiful caramelization to the pieces of oxtail before it goes into the veggie hot tub. The Vegetables invited to the party can be most anything you have on hand. They don’t need cut up nice or peeled. Leave the skin on that onion and the leaves on the celery. Use some fennel and leave the fronds with it. No need to peel the carrots or trim up the herbs. Just pop everything in there and let them all meld together into a lovely concoction of your own. Be mindful though of some of the herbs. I usually only leave mine in for the first hour, some of them will take over and you don’t want that to happen.
After all of this has come together for 5-6 hours in the oven or on the stove top you can now separate the liquid from the solids. This will leave you with a very tasty broth and some really nice pieces of oxtail ready to be turned into something lovely. Throw the veggies and herbs away…they are done. All the life has been sucked out of them and into the broth.
I knew when I was making something from the Oxtail that needed to get past this first step, so I had a lot of time to research oxtail origins and recipes and it seems to be quite a big hit with our Caribbean friends. Jamaica has a particular interest in the oxtail with several different versions with several different degrees of heat. You can always add some additional heat to your food, but you can never take it out. Dilution is the only solution and you might as well start over. So I suggest to add your heat at the table, individually.
For Bone Broth
Strain bone broth and reserve oxtail pieces to the side and throw out the veggies and herbs (Stop here for Bone Broth only)
For Caribbean Stew
Strain broth and reserve vegetables for stew
For Bone Broth: Disjoint your oxtail and season with salt and pepper then sear all sides well in 2 Tbsp of hot cooking oil.
Add the next 8 ingredients to the pot using enough water to cover all. Bring to a boil on top of the stove. Place a lid on the pot and put into the oven at 250F for one hour then remove the aromatic herbs. Put the lid back on and continue to braise for 4 more hours.
After four hours strain the solids from the broth and set the oxtail bones to the side. Stop here for Bone Broth only.
For Caribbean Stew: Add the vegetables into the strained broth (the next 6 ingredients) and let them cook on the stove top for 45 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. This will depend largely on how thick you cut your carrots.
While the vegetables are cooking get the brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, bouillon, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, ketchup, allspice, ginger, ground onion and browning sauce together in a bowl and mix well.
If you would like to turn the heat up on this add 1-2 tsp of habanero or scotch bonnet hot sauce to the above mixture.
Strain the vegetables from the broth and reserve them in a bowl.
Back into the original pot add 1 ½ cups of the broth you have just made and reserve the rest of the broth in a bowl or jar with a lid and keep it in the fridge. After the extra broth cools you can easily spoon off the top layer of fat, after a night in the fridge, and now you have a great start to another soup or stew with some great broth that is full of collagen and nutrients. Or you can just drink it if you would like…it’s good for you!
To the 1 ½ Cups broth in the original pot add the mixture you made while the veggies were cooking and bring it to a simmer. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until the mixture starts to thicken, add the vegetables and the oxtail back into the pot. Stir to mix well and turn off the heat. Add the tomato and butter beans last and stir gently as they will break up.
Serve Oxtail Caribbean Stew over rice, mashed potatoes or noodles with a side of coleslaw (just add some pineapple tid bits to make the slaw Caribbean) and some banana fritters for a true Caribbean experience.
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