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Oxtail Recipe Seasoning (Jamaican, Southern & Traditional)

Oxtail refers to the tail of a cow or other types of cattle. And there are many ways to prepare it to make it tender and delicious. But what are the best seasonings for oxtails?

The following are some of the best seasonings for oxtail: curry powder, thyme, ginger, paprika, garlic, onion, soy sauce, habanero pepper, and black pepper.

But don’t throw all of those on!

After all, some prefer a Jamaican spice blend, while others might prefer a more traditional English spice mix.

In addition to learning about the best seasoning, we’ll find out whether you should marinate and brown your oxtail. But we’ll also look at the best oxtail recipes out there. Although it takes a long time to cook oxtail, it needs little to no care while you wait.

Let’s get into it.

The Best Seasonings for Oxtail

The following are the best oxtail seasoning options:

  • Curry powder
  • Thyme
  • Ginger
  • Paprika
  • Scallion (green onions)
  • Tomato
  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Soy sauce
  • Beef bouillon
  • Habanero
  • Allspice 
  • Scotch bonnet pepper
  • Tomato paste or ketchup 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper

But not all at the same time! Below I’ll explore some specific recipes in different cuisines so you can see how to mix and match those for maximum flavor.

Should I marinate my oxtails?

A lot of recipes do not use marinating. But the fact is that if you have the time, marinating meat intensifies the flavor, and that can only be a good thing.

But in general, I suggest that you marinate.

After all, it’s super-easy to do. You simply have to do it a day before you want to cook the oxtail. Put the following in a blender and blend onions, 2 cloves of garlic, salt, water, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 of the scallions, and 1 tablespoon of oil.

Then, pour the mixture on the oxtails and store it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If you don’t have the time, you can marinate it for 6 to 8 hours.

Should I brown oxtails before cooking?

Yes, you should brown oxtails before cooking them. Browned oxtails are more attractive and flavorful. If you don’t brown it before cooking, the result may be a drab-looking, unappealing dish.

If you’re using a pressure cooker or employing slow cooking, you may decide not to brown it, as the taste is still amazing.

You brown the different sides of the oxtail by searing it.

Pour vegetable oil into a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the oxtail in the oil until it’s golden brown. 3 minutes for each side is ideal. Put the oxtail on a plate when it’s ready. Then move on to the last stage, which will make it ultra-tender.

Speaking of making meat tender, what are the best ways to make beef more tender?

Check out a recent article on my site. In it, I shared what makes a good tenderizer, why your steak is tough and chewy, and whether cooking beef longer makes it tender, and I also offered 11 simple tips to make the meat tender.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Traditional Jamaican oxtail recipe

The first step is to wash the oxtail, and then it is seasoned, marinated, and browned. Then, it is slow-cooked for about 2-3 hours. At times, a pressure cooker is used. But a slow cooker can also work well.

Jamaican oxtail stew is easy to prepare. In fact, in four simple steps, we’ll be able to prepare mouthwatering oxtail. Ready?

Let’s check out the ingredients and the steps required to make mouthwatering oxtail. The size of the oxtails and ingredients would naturally depend on how many people you’re cooking for.


  • 1 pound beef oxtail
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup canned fava beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons of a large onion
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 scotch bonnet chile pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Butter beans
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic powder


Step 1

Chop the chili pepper, large onion, and fresh thyme. And slice the green onion.

Step 2

So, you’ve got your oxtail, and it’s been cut into pieces. Now, wash each piece with water, lemon or lime, and vinegar. Then dry it off with some paper towels.

Step 3

The next task is to season the oxtail. So, combine the different types of seasoning in a large bowl. Mix them with the oxtail. Add garlic powder, salt, ginger, garlic, onion, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and chili pepper. You may want to take it easy on the last two.

Step 4

Here, you brown the different sides of the oxtail by searing it.

Pour vegetable oil into a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the oxtail in the oil until it’s golden brown. 3 minutes for each side is ideal. Put the oxtail on a plate when it’s ready.

Step 5

In the same skillet, over medium heat, put celery, onion, and garlic, and sauté carrots. The mixture should be soft after about 5 minutes. Then, add bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, cornstarch (for thickening), and beef broth. Bring to a boil.

Then, add the oxtail with its juices and butter. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, by which time it should be bone tender and mouthwatering. To reduce the time, use a pressure cooker.

Authentic southern-style oxtail recipe

The first thing is to wash the oxtail, then put it in a pot, add seasoning, and brown. Add enough water and cook for about 3 hours.

Southern-style oxtail is easy to prepare and is ideally paired with hot white rice. You’ll need a Dutch oven and be prepared for a long cooking time. Let’s find out the ingredients and the steps required to make it.


  • 10 pounds oxtails
  • 4 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 2 tablespoons browning and seasoning sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 medium yellow onion 
  • 1 large green bell pepper 
  • 3 ounces beef base 
  • 3 ounces chicken base


Wash the oxtail and place it in a stainless-steel pot.

Then, add garlic powder, chicken base, salt, beef base, browning and seasoning sauce, ground black pepper, onion, green bell pepper, and cayenne pepper. Be careful with the last two if you’re not really into spicy food.

Fill the pot with water till it’s ¾ covered, and wait.

Now and then, add a little bit of water and check the oxtail’s consistency. Also, check if there’s a need to add more seasoning. It will take 2-3 hours before it’s tender enough to be enjoyed.

Traditional oxtail recipe made easy

Preheat your oven, then season the flour with pepper and salt, and roll the oxtails in the mixture. Then, brown the oxtail. Add more seasoning and some wine and cook slowly in a pan in the preheated oven.

Read on for more details. Let’s get started by looking at what you’ll need and the steps required.


  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large oxtail, about 1.2kg to 1.4kg
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly diced
  • 4 small trimmed sticks of diced celery
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree (tomato paste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • Half a bottle (375cl) of good red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube made with 300ml boiling water


The first step is to make sure you preheat your oven. Then use salt and pepper to season the flour. Roll the oxtails in the seasoned flour until they are coated on all sides.

Next, pour oil into a large sauté pan that has a lid, heat it, and carefully brown the oxtails on each side. You may want to do this in batches if you have a lot of oxtails to ensure that each one is properly done.

Then, remove all the browned oxtails from the pan, and set them aside.

Now, add onions and celery to the pan and fry for 2 minutes. Then, add carrots and garlic to the mix and fry for 2 more minutes while stirring all the time.

Then add the herbs and the tomato puree (or tomato paste) and stir well before adding wine and beef stock. Stir well. Now add the oxtail back to the pan.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, add some wine, place the lid on the pan and cook slowly in the preheated oven for 2-3 hours, by which time it should be tender and extra-flavorful.

Enjoy with mashed potatoes and steamed seasonal greens with lots of oxtail gravy.

Do you also enjoy brisket? 

Then, you’re in luck because this is the theme of a recent article I published. In it, I shared riveting info about brisket, such as what a good brisket looks like, which cut is the best, and whether Prime or Choice brisket is better.

Just click the link to read it on my site.


In the article, we learned about some of the favorite ways folks prepare tender and flavorful oxtails.

We looked at the best seasonings for oxtail and whether it should be browned or marinated before it’s cooked. And we covered three different recipes: Jamaican, southern, and traditional.

Photo which requires attribution:

Queue de bœuf au vin rouge #4 by titanium22 is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell