I grew up on the Caribbean on the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Together with my parents and brothers, we had a great life. A Caribbean Christmas is definitely different from a Christmas here in the US. Not only is the music different but the traditions are different as well. In St. Vincent we have a tradition called "Nine Mornings", where we celebrate with music and dance, consider it a big party, every night beginning December 15th, nine days right up until Boxing Day, December 24th. Early in the morning around 4am, the streets in the city will be filled with music and dance and we would all have a great time. Growing up in the Caribbean was a lot of fun and I try and include and share some of my Caribbean heritage with my children, after all we're considered Caribbean-Americans. What that means is that it's always a Caribbean Christmas here in our house. From the music we listen to, to the food that we eat. That's why I want to share with you one of my Caribbean dishes. Oxtails over Curried Jasmine Rice.
I'm currently writing this post while reminiscing about the "good ole days". The days of being outdoors until late at night. The days of playing hopscotch and jumping jacks outdoors with friends and family, until the sun went down and our parents called us indoors for dinner. After dinner we would all meet outdoors again and sit under the stars, telling Anansi stories and sharing our dreams of what we want to be when we grow up. Now that I'm grown up, I sometimes wish I could go back to those days. The days of being young and free with not a care in the world. The days when I had both parents. My mother taught me how to cook and if you're a product of the Caribbean, that's one thing that your parent taught you to do. Not knowing how to cook was considered a sin. Cows, sheep, goats, chickens were all on the menu at Christmas and it's the one tradition that I've upheld even now I'm a mother living in the US. So without further ado, let's get down to my Oxtails over Curried Jasmine Rice.
Oxtails Over Curried Jasmine Rice
4 lbs Ox Tails
1 large Vidalia Onion, chopped
1 cup Parsnips, cut into cubes
1 cup Carrots, cut into cubes
3 fresh Sage Leaves
2 Scallion Bulbs
4 Garlic Cloves
1 cup Sweet Potato, cut into cubes
1 tbsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Sweet or Hot Paprika
2 tbsp Six Pepper Seasoning Blend
1 tbsp Sea Salt
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 cups Beef Stocks
Cook Oxtails for 8 hrs
Rinse oxtails and pat them dry. Rub oxtails with seasoning and coat them liberally with all-purpose flour.
Place a large stockpot over med-high heat, add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add oxtails. Brown oxtails on all sides; turning them with a pair of tongs. Remove oxtails and place them into a bowl.
Deglaze the pot by adding a cup of beef broth, scraping loose the bits from the bottom of the pan.
Pour the liquid in the pot into a bowl and using a fine mesh sieve.
Clean the stockpot then strain the liquid through the sieve back into the stockpot.
Over med-high heat add flour a little at a time, but careful not to burn the flour, turn down the heat if you need to. The flour should be a dark brown but not burnt.
Using a wire whisk begin adding the beef broth and stirring constantly. Stir until the mixture is lump-free and smooth.
Add the oxtails back into the stockpot, and add enough beef broth to cover the oxtails.
Add tomato paste, onions, garlic, and scallions. Cover pot with a lid and cook on medium heat, add beef broth or water every to two hours to keep the oxtails covered.
For the last 2 hours add sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
For my Curried Jasmine Rice I decided to prepare it in an Instant Pot. I got my Instant Pot as a Christmas gift from my brother in 2013 and it's been the best Christmas gift EVER! I make almost all my meat dishes in it and I encourage everyone to get one. We do a lot of meat dishes in the Caribbean and some of them can take quite some time to make. From curry goat to even my oxtail above, it can cut your cooking time in half.
Curry Jasmine Rice
4 cups Jasmine Rice
Add enough water to cover an inch over the rice.
Add 2 tablespoons of ground curry.
Cook Jasmine Rice for 14 minutes and serve oxtail over Curry Jasmine Rice.
I hope you enjoyed my little slice of the Caribbean and our Caribbean Christmas dinner. Stay tuned for our Holiday Tropical Punch and our Joy Gold Christmas Tablescape so you can spruce up your table for the holidays.