Curried Oxtail

Curried oxtail is not a common dish talked about when we think Jamaican food but honestly, we should be talking about it more. This Instant Pot version saves about 3 hours of cook time but doesn’t sacrifice the results. The meat is fall off the bone tender and full of the curry flavor we are used to in curried chicken or goat. This recipe is Whole30 compatible, gluten and grain free and sure to transport you to Jamaica in one bite.

Curried oxtail.

How long would curried oxtail take stove top?

You can totally cook this on the stove. Depending on the oxtail you have it could take anywhere from 3-4 hours. The directions are the same except you would check the pot every 25-30 minutes to see if it needs more liquid. Simmer over medium heat. You can also use a stovetop pressure cooker and it would take the same amount of time.

What else can you use if you don’t have oxtail?

Oxtail is not a very cheap protein these days and even if it’s in your budget it can be hard to find. In my experience, using turkey necks or beef short ribs with the bone in make great substitutions.

Things to know about this recipe:

  1. You don’t need to add turmeric to make this. I do because it helps ensure the curry comes out more on the yellow side which is common for Jamaican curry. I like the curry seasoning from All Seasoning.
  2. You can start this out on the stove then move it to the instant pot to finish cooking. after burning the curry and adding the meat in and developing a sauce, add the pressure cooker to finish cooking. I like to do it all in the Instant Pot because it’s one less thing to clean and the heat from having the IP on helps to get the IP to pressure faster.
  3. You don’t need to add liquid in the IP. If you develop enough sauce at the bottom to cover the bottom of the pot that’s all you need. If you want to add water, do not submerge the meat. Only put enough to go halfway up the level of the meat.

Other recipes to try

Looking for other recipes? Try Curry Chicken recipe, Brown Stew Chicken or Jerk Pork.

Curried Oxtail

Pressure cooked curried oxtail dish made in the Instant Pot.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6


  • Electric pressure cooker
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons


  • 4 lbs Oxtail
  • ½ Onion sliced
  • ½ Green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 stalks Green onion chopped
  • 2 large Carrots chopped
  • 2 TBSP Curry powder
  • ½ TBSP Turmeric
  • ½ TBSP Pimento seeds
  • ½ TBSP Dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP All-purpose seasoning
  • 2.5 tsp Ginger powder
  • 1-2 TBSP Olive oil


  • Wash and prepare oxtail. Pat dry.
  • Add everything except olive oil and 1 TBSP curry powder. Mix to combine.
  • Marinate 30 minutes countertop or overnight in the fridge. If overnight, let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Set Instant Pot to sauté then add oil when screen reads hot.
  • Add in curry powder and sauté for a minute or two. This is call bunning the curry.
  • Add in marinated meat then cover IP with lid. Do not secure shut, just place on top of the IP. Let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off sauté mode, cover pot then set to pressure cook on high for 1 hour. If there was not enough liquid released, add a little water to the pot. 1/2 cup should do.
  • After cooking time has elapsed, allow 10-15 minutes of natural release before doing a manual release.
  • Serve with cauliflower rice and your favorite vegetables.
Keyword caribbean, caribbean food, curried oxtail, curry, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, oxtail, whole30

Brown Stew Chicken

Jamaican brown stew chicken is always a hit in our house. While other Caribbean countries have their own version, Jamaicans added their own twist to it by using a bit of jerk seasoning in the marinade. Jerk seasoning can be used as a general all-purpose seasoning and not just in jerk recipes. The chicken is also browned first before adding the rest of the aromatics in before braising. This is what helps gives the dish the brown color and really adds to the flavor. While the recipe calls for chicken parts, a whole chicken can be cut up into 1–2-inch chunks and used. If you aren’t comfortable butchering a whole chicken, you can have the butcher at your supermarket do this for you. Just ask them to cut the chicken up for making a stew.

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Brown stew chicken served with cauliflower rice.
Brown Stew Chicken Served with Cauliflower Rice

What is browning?

Browning (or burnt sugar) is brown or cane sugar that has been caramelized until it becomes very dark. Many seasoned Jamaican cooks make this from scratch, but using store bought browning is just fine. Despite it being made from pure sugar, it’s not very sweet tasting. Actually, using a little goes a long way. Start small and if after you mix it in you think it needs more then add a little more. Just remember that the chicken will get a bit darker when cooked and if you use too much it can make the dish bitter.

If you are doing a Whole30, you can use coconut aminos or coconut teriyaki instead. Coconut teriyaki works best because it’s a bit thicker and will work more like the browning will. The chicken doesn’t get as browned as if you used browning, but you still get a nice color. Adding an extra tablespoon when adding in the ketchup could give the brown stew chicken a more desired look.

Why use ketchup?

While the dish cooks, it releases its own liquid and makes a natural gravy so there is no need to add water. The gravy by itself is good and you don’t need to add anything else, it’s traditional to add a few tablespoons of ketchup. Ketchup is very common in Caribbean cooking, especially when making stews. It’s like our version of tomato paste. The ketchup thickens the gravy and add an extra layer of flavor and umami. Instead of using tomato ketchup, as is traditional in brown stew chicken, the carrot ketchup from The New Primal (affiliate link) is my go-to. If you are not a fan of either, you could use BBQ sauce instead.

Can brown stew chicken be cooked in the Instant Pot?

Absolutely! Use the sauté function to brown the chicken without the seasoning marinade (onion, bell pepper, pimento etc.). After adding the seasonings back in after searing the chicken, place the lid on top of the Instant Pot but don’t lock it on. You should be able to just pull the lid up when needed. Allow the chicken to cook for 5 minutes then turn off sauté mode. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 13 minutes on high pressure. Allow the Instant Pot to natural release for 10 minutes then manually release the remaining pressure.

What to serve brown stew chicken with?

Brown stew chicken can be served with a variety of sides. Rice and peas or just plain white rice is traditional, but if you are making this Whole30 then cauliflower rice is perfect. Fried plantain and vegetable salad are also great sides to add. And for dessert, this Bread Pudding recipe is never a bad idea.

Brown Stew Chicken

A gluten free Jamaican version of a Caribbean classic. Brown stew chicken is a rich and flavorful chicken stew that has been marinated in classic Jamaican spices and slowly braised until tender. Perfect for weeknight dinners that will transport you to the Caribbean.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 6


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Large skillet or Dutch pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs


  • 4-5 pounds chicken leg and thigh work best.
  • ½ onion sliced
  • ½ green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1 TBSP pimento seed
  • 1 TBSP poultry seasoning
  • 1 TBSP all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 TBSP jerk seasoning optional
  • ½ TBSP dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp browning see notes for Whole30 swap
  • 2-3 TBSP ketchup I use carrot ketchup
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil


  • Wash chicken and pat dry.
  • Add onion, green bell pepper, green onion, pimento, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning jerk seasoning (if using), poultry seasoning, browning, dried thyme, salt and pepper to the chicken and mix.
  • Marinate chicken for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet or Dutch pot on the stove on medium heat.
  • Once heated, add olive oil.
  • When olive oil is heated, add chicken and marinade.
  • Cover and let the chicken get brown, about 3 minutes. Once one side is browned, flip and let the other side brown while covered.
  • Once the chicken is browned on both sides, scrape the bottom of the pot/skillet. You should have some liquid released by this point.
  • Cover the pot/skillet, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir. let cook another 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
  • Add in ketchup, stir and let cook another 5 minutes.
  • Serve with your white rice or cauliflower rice and enjoy!


If you can marinate this ahead of time, overnight is best covered in the fridge. Remove 30 minutes before cooking so the chicken can get to room temperature.
If you want to make this Whole30, use 1 TBSP coconut aminos or coconut teriyaki instead of browning.
If there is any left, this is even better the next day.
Keyword brown stew, brown stew chicken, chicken, gluten free, grain free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe

Instant Pot Jamaican Stew Peas

Stew peas is a meal you make in big pot of on the weekend and can stretch to the middle of the week. My dumpling recipe works great in this recipe to keep it gluten free, and I also used canned peas to save time. 

Instant Pot Jamaican Stew Peas

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Instant Pot
  • Wooden spoon


Stew Peas

  • 2-2.5 lbs pig tails⠀
  • 2 cans kidney beans⠀
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk⠀
  • 4 cups water or broth⠀
  • 1 TBSP pimento seeds crushed ⠀
  • 2 stalks green onion chopped into chunks⠀
  • 1 medium onion chopped⠀
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped⠀
  • 2 sprigs of thyme ⠀
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper or 1 tsp cayenne or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional⠀
  • Salt to taste⠀


  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • ¼ - 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum omit if your flour has it


  • Trim big pieces of fat off the pig tails. Leave some of the fat as it will add flavor.
  • Soak pig tail in a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for 10 minutes.
  • Drain, rinse and pat dry.
  • Season the pig tails liberally with salt. ⠀
  • In a bowl add flour, salt, xantham gum (if needed) and mix. ⠀
  • Slowly add water (about a tablespoon at a time) and knead until a dough forms. ⠀
  • Pinch small pieces of the dough and rub between your hands to form very thin cigar shaped dumplings. The ends should be rounded. ⠀
  • Combine all ingredients into the instant pot with 1/2 tsp of salt and stir. Do not exceed the max fill line. Make sure you get the remnants at the bottom of the can as that’s what will you give the dish color. Add in spinners and make sure they get covered by liquid. ⠀
  • Close the lid (ensure your lid is set to sealing) and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. ⠀
  • 10. Once done let the instant pot naturally release for 15 minutes then manually release. ⠀
  • 11. Turn on the sauté mode and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken. Be sure to stir the bottom often so it doesn’t stick.
  • 12. Serve over rice or as is in a bowl. Enjoy!


You could use pigeon peas instead of kidney beans.
The dish can be made with pig tails beef stew meat, turkey necks or meatless. For a meatless see my Red Peas Soup recipe.
No instant Pot/pressure cooker? Simmer in Dutch oven for 1.5 - 2 hours on medium low heat.
Keyword caribbean food, gluten free, jamaican, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, soup, stew, stew peas