On my first journey to Brazil, the land of my ancestors I experienced something that I imagine many African Americans do when traveling to a place where people look like you but speak a different language. It was the food, the spiritual ceremonies, and the love for our people that captured my heart. And when I say food I mean FOOD! Oxtails in my culture are a staple food. It is the delicious fatty tail of the cow that we cherish because during slavery it was one of the pieces of meat we were given to cook for ourselves while the better pieces were given to slave owners. Oxtails became a delicacy in our communities and still are to this day. Slow cooked with love, they are served mostly during special occasions or when you just feel like chowing down on a yummy piece of meat. I took some creative license by adding red wine to mine, but has wine ever made anything worse?
Serving size 8, Prep time: 30 mins, Cook time: 7-8 hours, Pressure cooker: 55 mins
1 can lima/butter beans
4 pounds oxtails trimmed
2 large onions chopped
3 scallions chopped
4 garlic cloves smashed
3 carrots chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes or 1 scotch bonnet pepper seeds included
4 teaspoons hot paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 cups low-sodium beef broth just enough to slightly cover the oxtail
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pimento seeds (optional)
2 cups dry red wine
In a large pot, add oxtails, onions, scallions, garlic, thyme, red pepper, paprika, bay leaf, soy sauce, pimento seeds, ketchup, wine and Worcestershire sauce and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
Remove the oxtail from marinade. In a large pot heat up enough oil to brown the oxtail. When the oil is hot not burning, place the oxtail in the pot and brown on all sides.
Remove the brown oxtail and place in slow cooker. Add enough broth to cover the oxtail. Also toss in the marinade, tomatoes, and carrots. Set on high and cook for 7-8 hours. Cook until the meat becomes tender.
Every hour check on the oxtail and keep oxtails slightly covered with liquid.
At 6 hours, add the beans, tomato paste, and more of beef broth and/or water, if needed. Then simmer uncovered for 1 hour, skimming fat off top and stirring occasionally.
In the last 1/2 hour of cook time, season with 1- 2 tablespoons salt and fresh ground black pepper. Serve with rice and peas.
*Don't forget to remove bay leaves.