Oxtail Pelau

Pelau is a traditional dish you can find throughout the Caribbean. It’s a combination of cooked up meat, usually chicken or beef accompanied with aromatics such as thyme, scallion and scotch bonnet pepper. The dish is enhanced with coconut milk, pigeon peas and rice as well as fresh green seasonings making it irresistible.

I’ve made chicken pelau before and it was a winner! So much flavor and is a complete meal in one skillet. I saw London Cookss make oxtail pelau on Instagram and was instantly inspired to try making it myself.

My recipe is flavor packed but it will take you a little time to make. If you’re looking to enjoy the best dish you’ve had of the year, then try this recipe.

Oxtail Pelau

Oxtail Pelau

Pelau is a traditional dish you can find throughout the Caribbean. It's a combination of cooked up meat, usually chicken or beef accompanied with aromatics such as thyme, scallion and scotch bonnet pepper. The dish is enhanced with coconut milk, pigeon peas and rice as well as fresh green seasonings making it irresistible.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

For oxtail:

  • 2 lbs oxtail, pieces that are small to medium
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp granulated beef bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp ground all spice
  • 1/2 tsp browning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dark mushroom soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp green seasoning
  • 4 cups of hot water, divided
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for searing

To finish dish:

  • 1 can green pigeon peas, drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups parboiled rice
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 stalks scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Season to taste (salt, pepper, bouillon powder, all purpose seasoning, more green seasoning)
  • 4 whole pimento seeds

For green seasoning:

  • To a food processor, combine the below ingredients and pulse well until well combined.
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oven 400 degrees 
  2. Season oxtail with powder seasoning, mushroom soy sauce, browning and olive oil 
  3. In an oven safe braising pan, sear oxtail on medium heat in coconut oil until golden brown on all sides 
  4. Once brown, cover the oxtail with a lid for 5-7 minutes to allow the oxtail to release liquid in the pot 
  5. Once there is a thin layer of liquid, add 2 cups of additional hot water to the oxtail
  6. Add 2 tbsp of green seasoning, cover and cook in the oven for one hour
  7. After an hour, add 2 more cups of hot water and cover. Continue to cook for another hour or until fork tender 
  8. Once the oxtail begins to soften, remove the pan from the oven and add coconut milk, green seasoning, scallion, carrots, onion, thyme, scotch bonnet and pimento seeds 
  9. Combine well, cover and cook in the oven for another 45 minutes or until the oxtail is falling off the bone 
  10. Add rice, pigeon peas, butter and additional seasoning to the mixture and stir well
  11. Add remaining 2 cups of water, cover and bake for 30 more minutes 
  12. Dish is done when the liquid has evaporated and the rice is tender and oxtail is falling off the bone easily 
  13. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro & serve warm 

Notes

If you don't have the time to do the dish in the oven you can pressure cook the oxtail for about an hour on high pressure then proceed to adding the rice and peas. That would bring the cook time down to about an hour and 30 minutes.

If you make this recipe hit me up on my Instagram and let me know how you liked it.

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2 Comments

  1. Kiesha McClain
    January 16, 2023 / 5:54 pm

    Made the oxtail pelau. Ridiculously good. I will tell everyone who will listen about your recipes. Sooo good!

    • natasha
      Author
      January 16, 2023 / 5:57 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Kiesha! Glad you liked it

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