This year for mother’s day, my bank account suggested that I make oxtail stew, the recipe for which I’ve adapted from Jeff Smith’s book titled “The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors“. He calls for small white beans and Tabasco sauce, which I’ve omitted but instead added sour orange juice and scotch bonnet peppers.

Versions of oxtail soup are popular traditional dishes in South America, West Africa, China, Spain and Indonesia. In Korean cuisine, a soup made with oxtail is called kkori gomtang (꼬리곰탕). It is a thick soup seasoned with salt and eaten with a bowl of rice.” Stewed oxtail is popular in Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, and other West Indian cultures… as well as in South Africa, where it’s often cooked in a traditional skillet called a “potjie”.

Below is the modified recipe I used this time around.  You can definitely shortcut by utilizing a pressure cooker.


  • 3 lbs oxtail
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tbsp sour orange juice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp allspice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • scotch bonnet pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the oxtails in oil.  Place the oxtails in a 6-quart stove-top casserole. Add the garlic, onion and tomato. Add the beef stock and enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Add the allspice, sour orange juice, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 3.5 hours adding the scotch bonnet pepper towards the last 30 mins. Stir occasionally. For a thicker sauce, remove the lid during the last hour of cooking. Season with salt, pepper as needed.