Oxtails with Allspice, Thyme, and Habaneros


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

You can substitute beef short ribs for the oxtails—they’ll be only slightly less sticky-unctuous.


  • 2 to 3 pounds (910 g to 1.4 kg) oxtails, cut by the butcher into 1- to 2-inch/2.5- to 5-cm sections
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice, finely ground
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • cup (165 ml) beef stock
  • 5 large sprigs fresh thyme

For the habanero sauce

  • 2 habanero or Scotch bonnet chiles
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt



Season the oxtails with the allspice and salt and pepper. In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, working in batches if necessary, cook the oxtails (with no oil), turning with tongs, until browned on at least two sides, 5 to 7 minutes total per batch. Using the tongs, transfer to the slow cooker. Drain off the fat from the skillet and add the oil. Add the garlic and stir over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. Pour in the rum and boil until it has reduced almost completely, then scrape into the cooker. Add the stock and tuck in the thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

Make the habanero sauce: Wearing gloves, seed and mince the chiles, then stir in the thyme, orange zest and juice, lime juice, brown sugar, and salt to taste. If doing this in the morning, cover and refrigerate.


With a large spoon or a turkey baster, skim the clear fat from the surface of the liquid in the cooker and discard. Transfer the oxtails to a platter, spoon some of the garlic cooking liquid over them, and serve with the habanero sauce for drizzling on top.