Oxtail Stew

3 pounds oxtail, cut in 2-inch pieces

4 TBS unsalted butter

½ cup chopped shallots

½ lb. carrots, scraped and sliced

2 cups beef stock

1 tsp annatto (opt.)

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

2 TBS all-purpose flour

1 cup rum (opt.)

1 TBS lime (opt.)


Heat the butter in a heavy covered casserole. Saute the oxtail pieces with the shallots and the carrots until oxtail is lightly browned all over. Add beef stock to cover. Add the annatto, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 2 ½ hours.


Remove from heat. Skim off fat, reserving one TBS to mix with flour. Mix the flour and fat and add to dtew, stirring over low heat til the liquid is slightly thickened. Stir in the rum, partially cover, and cook over low heat for another 15 minutes, or until meat is tender. Stir in lime juice. Serves 6-8.


Note: a less subtle version can be made with tomato paste and water or broth, plus the cinnamon and nutmeg. Maybe allspice, too.


From Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking, who says this recipe is from St. Kitts and the Leeward Islands.