Instant Pot Jamaican Oxtail Stew

I am very much a beginner when it comes to cooking Jamaican food, but I sure love eating it. So when we found oxtail at the local store for a reasonable price, I jumped at the opportunity to try my hand at a classic Jamaican oxtail stew. This recipe ended up being too sweet for us, but I blame this on the fact that I packed the 1/4 cup of brown sugar that the recipe called for, since it didn't specify whether the measurement was packed or unpacked. I therefore cut it by half in the recipe I'm posting now, which I think would fix the brown sugar overkill.

Jamaican Oxtail Stew
(Recipe adapted from My Forking Life)

  • 2.5 lbs oxtail (I used 2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp browning
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero, seeds and membrane removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 16-oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed

  1. Mix together brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, allspice, and browning in a small bowl. Rub all over the oxtail and set aside to marinate.
  2. Turn on Instant Pot and set to high saute. Once hot, add vegetable oil. Carefully add the oxtail pieces and brown on all sides. Remove oxtails after browning and set aside. 
  3. Add 2 tbsp of beef broth to the pot and use a wooden spoon or metal spatula to get all the brown bits off the bottom. 
  4. Add the onions, green onions, carrots, scotch bonnet, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Cancel the saute mode.
  5. Add remaining beef broth, ketchup, dried thyme, and the oxtails to the pot. Cover the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow pressure cooker to naturally release. 
  6. Open the lid and remove oxtail and vegetables with a slotted spoon. Skim off as much fat as you can. 
  7. Set to saute again. Create a cornstarch slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add to liquid in the Instant Pot. Add drained butter beans. Let simmer for 5 minutes until liquid is thickened and butter beans are warmed. 
  8. Add oxtails and vegetables back to Instant Pot. Serve. 

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