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  Jamaican Oxtail.. in Los Angeles

Pressed for a childhood taste

Oxtails are another example of the creativity and culture that so many wield to turn the least into the best. Jamaican Oxtail are brilliant, complex, filling, and addicting. Born and raised in Los Angeles but through me are thick threads of South Carolina and Philadelphia. I would not see those threads until someone showed them to me.  Our habits and home were only a little different than other black folks.  

Sure, some people put sugar in greens while I would NEVER, but we are all black and it is what it is. 

Exploring variations of seasoning among American Soul food did not take place until I was well over 16. Why? Well because my Nana was cooking all holiday meals. My granny supplied any other celebration. However the excitingly clear and clean smell of Caribbean food was a treat we happily paid for often. 

I grew up in an area called “the Jungle” but spent time living in Lemert park both are near the Crenshaw Mall.

 Lemert park and the Jungle both carried heavy Caribbean influence. Saturday morning car wash, shopping at the street markets, and scented natural body care. Many owned and operated by a community welcoming and sure. The most welcoming part was the food.

At least once every other month my mom would treat me to an Oxtail plate from 54th and Slauson. I went there until slowly they closed. I was left alone and with no substitution. Then I was introduced to Pepper’s  and though they are delicious it was not the same as my childhood meal. When I worked close to Pepper’s I spent a ridiculous amount eating oxtail ……often. But I was searching for that same taste. Silly me. Wi Jammin was another obsession. While I have tried many restaurants for Jamaican oxtail these are the two, I recommend.

You have to be willing to supply your own needs. I needed Oxtail.

About 7 years ago I started attempting to make them myself and lets just say. … I don’t know what to say about my past attempts. They were not right. But they have advanced to a recipe I am happy with. I’m even a little proud. Before I toot my horn too much let me say it is the combination of awesome consistent restaurants, and Jamaican YouTube people, and my childhood food fun that made this possible. Thank yall for sharing a beautiful filling complex meal with the world. 

Here is my Jamaican Oxtail Recipe which came from restaurants and the internet.

Jamaican Oxtail ingredients

4 to 5 pounds of oxtail. 

Cut the fat from the Oxtail. ( Do not skip this part.)  

Thyme- Dried in the marinade, Fresh in the pot.

 Ginger root- Powder in the marinade. Fresh grate and put on oxtail before browning

Garlic- fresh and powder

Scotch bonnet pepper. ( This can be harder to locate)

Red bell pepper


All Spice – Fresh or powder ( this is strong you only need a little. For my 4 pounds I throw two small berries in)

Beef stock  ( Pour 2/3 beef and 1/3 water. Pour just enough to cover the meat)

Green onions (scallions) 

Worcester sauce ( I go a little crazy)

St. Jamaican marinade ( I use lightly and as a substitute for browning sauce )

Bay Leaf  ( 1 leaf. That’s it )

sea salt ( not so much.)

onion powder ( I use a lot )

Butter Beans ( 1 can . )

pressures cooker ( I tried to slow cook it so many times and it was never the same.)

lite directions

  1. Marinade in St Jamaica marinade, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder for 2 to 12 hours.

2. Add fresh ginger and brown.

3. Add all other ingredients, except butter bean in pressure cooker for 45 mins.

4. Once pressures has released. Add beans. You may add a little flour to thicken the gravy.

( My Gravy game is building so..) d

Let it sit for at least 2 hours. ( Trust me … LET IS SIT)

Jamaican Oxtail Recipe for different sources.
She talks about different methods of cooking Jamaican Oxtails and gets pretty detailed.
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