Instant Pot Jamaican Oxtail Stew
Instant Pot Jamaican Oxtail Stew
- 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
- 3 pounds beef oxtail, sliced into 1-inch disks (they usually already come like this at the market – if not, ask the butcher to cut them like this for you)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter, divided in half
- 1 large Spanish or yellow onion, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch disks
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero pepper or Jamaican hot pepper), diced, with the seeds and ribs (inner white part) discarded (NOTE: this pepper may look small but don’t be fooled – it is VERY powerful and spicy. If you choose to keep the ribs and seeds in, expect the spice level to be extreme as that’s the key source of heat. Therefore, if not using gloves, DO NOT touch your eyes after handling the seeds and ribs or the inside of the pepper itself. Wash your hands thoroughly with dish soap first. Alternatively, for a milder spice, sub a jalapeño pepper or just leave the pepper out altogether if you don’t want any heat factor. It won’t be a true Jamaican Oxtail Stew without it, but who cares? It’ll still taste incredible.)
- 3 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup beef broth (I used 1 teaspoon Beef Better Than Bouillon + 1 cup water)
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water mixed to form a slurry
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
- 16-ounce can of butter beans, rinsed and drained
Although this is called a “stew,” it’s not really meant to be eaten like a soup. It’s more a premium meat dish with a rich and zesty gravy mean to be draped over rice.
Some folks may argue with me, but I find the only difference between a Scotch bonnet pepper, habanero pepper or a Jamaican hot pepper is the name. They are identical and VERY SPICY – especially in their raw state and with the seeds and rib (the white part) in tact. Also, while these peppers can be red, yellow, orange or green, it really doesn’t matter which color you choose – it will all be the same experience.
To the above point – DON’T FREAK OUT ABOUT THE HEAT! Yes, this pepper is extremely spicy on its own but, with the seeds and ribs removed and when cooked in a sweet and savory sauce, the heat level is cut significantly into something like a 4 or 5 spice-level on a scale of 10 being the spiciest.
After handling the inside of a Scotch bonnet pepper variety, you absolutely MUST wash your hands after. If you don’t and you touch your face or worse, your eyes, be prepared for some MAJOR discomfort. Therefore, it may be wise to put a little olive oil on your fingers ahead of touching the pepper as that helps repel the heat. Or, better yet, use latex gloves if you have them. If not, dish soap will do – just make sure you wash those hands!
It doesn’t matter how much oxtail you use to use – the cooking time and all ingredients will remain the same.
Don’t be shy to eat the oxtail with your hands! It’s the one true way to be sure you get all of that succulent, butter-like meat from the bone to your belly!