Oxtail Soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:

    4 to 6

Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

The traditional way to prepare this soup is to place all the ingredients together in one pot and simmer. My French culinary training has convinced me of the importance of first browning meats and vegetables to develop flavor, and this recipe has been adapted to reflect that process.


  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in 3 cups water, or 1 cup canned
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean oxtails
  • 2 or 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper or other hot chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sherry


  1. If using dried black-eyed peas, drain and set aside. If using canned peas, drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the oxtails and brown on all sides. Stir in the carrots and cook until they are light brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Pour 4 cups of cold water over the oxtail mixture. Make sure there is enough water to completely cover the ingredients. Mix well, scraping the bottom to loosen any caramelized bits. Add the chives, thyme, and hot pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour, skimming the surface as needed.
  4. Add the black-eyed peas. Simmer for 30 minutes more, or until the oxtails and peas are tender. Add the salt and mix well. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove the thyme sprigs and chili pepper. Stir in the sherry just before serving.