How to make Jamaican Oxtail & Beans

Kinisha Correia

There’s a hot spot in Kingston, Jamaica called Lorna’s Catering that is usally swarmed with people during lunch hours. Lorna’s is known far and wide for super-tasty traditional Jamaican food that doesn’t make you feel heavy and bogged down. The prices are also exceptionally reasonable.

The couple behind the takeout joint, Lorna and Franklin O’Neill, returned to Jamaica from Florida in 2010 after the real estate market in the US came crashing down. Their life savings and many investments disappeared along with the plummeting economy. For them, Lorna’s was a new start. They were forced to rebuild their finances from the ground up.

Nearly a decade later, the restaurant, though relatively humble and unassuming, has made its mark in Jamaica as one of the best places to eat across the island. It has been featured by US-based media including the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel and VICE, as well as top media outlets in Jamaica. They’ve also won several Jamaica Observer Food Awards.

If you can’t get your hands on a Lorna’s meal because you live outside of Jamaica, the small business offers a free cookbook on its website, which includes recipes for its most popular dishes.

Below is their Oxtail recipe.



  1. Use soya sauce to brown your Oxtail and add some punch to the flavor as well.
  2. Broad Beans are a MUST for a really scrumptious Oxtail. Don’t leave them out!
  3. The key to a good Oxtail is to find the balance between creating a stew-like consistency and having chunks of meat on the bone, that are still able slip off easily. If you’re Jamaican, you know what we mean. If not, we’re sorry we can’t explain any better.
  4. Either way, perfecting this takes some practice. Basically, you’re aiming to not have all the meat and beans totally mashed out, but yet you still do want it somewhat mashed out to create that stew-like consistency we’re talking about. Watch your pot carefully, and you’ll get it, we promise.


3lbs Oxtail
1 1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Black pepper
3 Tbsp curry powder
2 Cloves garlic
2 Tbsp Cooking oil
2 Medium onions, sliced
1 tsp Dried thyme (or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves)
1 Tbsp hot pepper sauce
2 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
1 tsp Wocester sauce
3 cups Water
1 Can (190z) Lima beans (also called butter beans), drain and set aside liquid


1. Season oxtail with salt, black pepper, 2 Tbsp curry powder and garlic
2. Place sliced onions on top, cover and place in refrigerator overnight or for at least for 2 hours before cooking
3. While heating oil in heavy saucepan remove onions from top of meat
4. Add oxtail to the sauce pan and sear to seal in juice
5. Add 1 cup of water, thyme and onion. stir. Stir in hot pepper sauce, tomato ketchup and worcestershire sauce; cook for 5 minutes.
6. Add 1 Tbsp curry powder; stir. Add 2 cups of water (enough water to just cover meat); cover and simmer until meat is tender (2 to 2 1/2 hours). TIP: The meat should be so tender it’s falling off the bone
7. Add lima beans (with half their liquid) to the cooked meat and stir
8. Raise heat and bring to a rapid boil until gravy thickens, stirring at intervals so that no sticking or burning occurs. Remove from heat.

Serve with steamed Jamaican rice and peas, and a mixed green salad.


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