Linda’s Oxtail Stew

oxtail stew

My mother, Agatha Gwen Thomas was a force of nature! She immigrated to the UK from Grenada (the Spice Islands) in the late 1950’s. Like many immigrants from the Caribbean, she soon found out the streets of London were not paved with gold, and the food was really bland! As a single parent of 5 children in the 1960’s, my mother used every opportunity to make sure we were well fed, which meant we each had a responsibility to “care for” the vegetable garden and assist our neighbor up the way with his chickens, ducks. goats and rabbits, I later found out, our survival was not really based on caring for the vegetable garden, or working for our neighbor, she simply wanted to keep us occupied and out of trouble!

In 1960’s UK, oxtails were almost free, and reserved for dog food, so imagine my surprise a few years ago, when I went to recreate this recipe and I found out that oxtails were a culinary thing and quite expensive! Agatha Gwen has long since gone to glory, but every time I make Oxtail Stew I feel her warm spicy embrace, and I hope you will too.


  • 2-3 table spoons of coconut oil 2 -3 pounds of cut up oxtails
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 chopped carrots
  • 2 cubed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped thyme
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 can of butter beans (rinsed and drained) 1⁄2 cup beef broth
  • Pinch of nutmeg


  1. bring oxtails to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking
  2. season oxtails with salt and pepper
  3. heat oil in a heavy stockpot
  4. saute the oxtails in batches on each side until browned (depending on size, 2 minutes on each side)
  5. remove, and set aside the oxtails
  6. deglaze the pot with red wine
  7. add onions, garlic, carrots, potatoes, thyme, smoked paprika, allspice, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, kosher salt, oxtails, beef broth, nutmeg, scotch bonnet
  8. bring to rolling boil, then lower heat to simmer until oxtails are tender, approx. 2-3 hours, stir occasionally
  9. 30 minutes before removing from the stove add the butter beans. If necessary, add more beef stock to thin out the goodness

Serve with rice, avocado, coleslaw, roti/naan, and a nicely chilled pinot noir. Enjoy!