Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jamaican Oxtail Stew

It's Wednesday and needless to say it is pretty cold. Got up this morning and it was about 55 degrees. ( For me coming from the islands that's cold call me a wimp if you like but for me 80 degrees is comfortable) so with 50 degrees temperature out comes the stew pot and one of the best Caribbean cold weather food Oxtail stew. You heard me right the tail of the ox I am going to cook it in a famous Jamaican Oxtail stew. Most Caribbean islands prepare oxtail in different ways in Dominica we add red beans and made it into hearty oxtail and bean stew. In Cuban cuisine they add a heavy red wine along with orange juice. Personally I prefer the Jamaican recipe.It's not that thick as some of the other islands, the meat is fork tender, the flavors of the vegetable and spices comes together nicely. When ever I an in south Florida I have to make a stop at Ital Cafe in Lauderhill they make an amazing Oxtail stew along with their not to be missed goat soup.

Jamaican Oxtail Stew

3 pounds oxtail
3 Tablespoon oil for frying
1 whole onion peeled and cut into slices
2 celery stalks cut into sliced
2 large Carrots peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups beef stock or water
4 stalk of fresh thyme ( or 1/4 tsp dry thyme)
1/4 tsp ground all spice
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can butter beans or lama beans
salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
16 small flour dumplings ( recipe follows)

1) Clean Oxtail, remove excess fat and cut into medium pieces.( about 2-inch pieces)
I usually get this done by my butcher. Season lightly with salt and ground black pepper.
2) Add oil to a saucepan and brown oxtails on both sides lightly. Add all the other ingredients except the dumplings and beans to the saucepan.
3) Cover and simmer for about 2 hours until meat is tender. Add more stock if necessary' Stir lightly. Add the dumplings and butter beans cook for another 15- 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Flour Dumplings
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar ( optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 Cup water
Sift flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add butter enough water to form a stiff dough.
Knead on a floured surface until smooth.
Cut into 12- 16 pieces and form into balls by rolling in the palm of the hands and flatten lightly. Add to oxtail stew.

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