Recipe: Jamaican Braised Oxtail and Butterbeans, by the Jam Tree’s James Browne

Oxtail recipe

Inside the Jam Tree, Clapham
Inside the Jam Tree, Clapham

Brixton-born James Browne is executive chef at The Jam Tree restaurant in Clapham. Next month, his restaurant is hosting Jamaica Jamaica – a fortnight of food themed around the Caribbean island’s cuisine and inspired by Browne’s travels there (and, no doubt, the plentiful places to eat Jamaican in Brixton – from Jeff the Chef’s market van to sit-down feasting at Negril, but those are for another post). There will be classic Jamaican dishes including curried goat, fried dumplings, ackee and salt fish, fried plantain, jerk chicken, brown stew chicken, grilled snapper escoveitch, stamp and go (aka codfish fritters) and patties. Drink will have a tropical lilt too, with a rum-based cocktail list, including the Jamaican Mule, The Usain Bolt and Shabba Ranks.

We asked James to share one of his favourite Jamaican dishes with us in recipe form. Something to get us in the mood for this weekend’s legendary Lambeth Country Show (more of which later this week).

Braised Oxtail and Butterbeans

3 tbsp. veg oil
2 lb (just under 1.5 kilos) oxtails, cut into 2-inch/5cm pieces
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. minced ginger
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 tbsp. flour
1 tin of butterbeans
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp. whole allspice berries
4 sprigs thyme
2 Scotch bonnet chillies
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
Cooked rice, for serving

1. Heat oil in an Dutch pot over medium-high heat; season oxtails with salt and pepper. Add to pot; cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add tomato paste, ginger, garlic, onions, carrot, and celery; cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add flour; cook until smooth, about 2 minutes. Return oxtails to pot with stock, allspice, thyme, butterbeans and chillis; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until oxtails are tender, about 2-3 hours.

2. Add sugar and Worcestershire to the pot and cook until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Garnish with spring onions and serve with rice.

Jamaica Jamaica takes place at The Jam Tree between 6 and 20 August 2013. Find it at: 13 Old Town, SW4. For more information or to book, tel: 020 3397 4422. @The_Jam_Tree

1 thought on “Recipe: Jamaican Braised Oxtail and Butterbeans, by the Jam Tree’s James Browne”

  1. I have been looking and trying to cook this recipe for years! I’m not Jamaican and no matter how many times I tried to watch the mums cooking this (always shooed out of the kitchen ) or asked for the recipe, hah they would say you can eat it here what do you wanna cook it for…..

    Any way I think this is the one! Thank you 😉

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