Trinidad Oxtail Pelau + BHM VIRTUAL POTLUCK

Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with
caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken with rice.

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken served over a bed of rice.

It’s the first day of Black History y’all and I have teamed up with 27 AMAZING black food bloggers from all over the world for a Black History Month Virtual Potluck. For every day of black history month, a black food blogger will showcase their very own favorite recipe. From African to Caribbean to Southern, there is something for everybody. So make sure you scroll down and check out the other bloggers and their amazing recipes.

Today, I’m sharing  my version of Trinidad Pelau. Oh, almost forgot! Good news!  I made my first YouTube video!!  I give props to all vloggers because setting up, making videos and editing is very time consuming! If you’re like me and need visuals check out my quick video below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.

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Now about this recipe. Trinidad Pelau is a one-pot dish which consists of meat, chicken or seafood. The meat is marinated in herbaceous and vegetable filled green seasoning then it’s caramelized in an almost burnt brown sugar then cooked with rice, pigeon peas and  vegetables such as, peppers, carrots, tomatoes etc.

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken served over a bed of rice.

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The green seasoning is super easy to make. It’s basically just adding a “bunch” size of vegetables and herbs to a food processor and process it until you get a thick puree.

The second  step is  browning of the sugar (sugar is cooked until it’s almost burnt). The  process takes about 2-3 minutes. You have to keep an eye on the sugar because it will burn if you cook it too long.

You’ll know when the sugar is ready when it turn frothy, bubbly and a dark amber color. Quickly add your meat. If the sugar starts to burn, dump it and start again. FYI, The caramelized meat is what gives the pelau it’s unique flavor and color, so make sure you don’t skip out on that step.

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken served over a bed of rice.

Ingredients:
Green seasoning Marinade right below:
1 bunch parsley about 1 and 1/2cup parsley
7 green onions
4 shallots
13 garlic cloves
bunch of culantro or cilantro about 1 and 1/2 cup
1 half green pepper
1 half red pepper
2 tbs ketchup
1 tomato
1 scotch bonnet pepper or habanero peppers

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with caramelized dark-brown meat or chicken served over a bed of rice.For the browning sauce
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 tbs brown sugar

For the Rice
2lb oxtails seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 cups shredded carrots
1 15 oz can pigeon peas
2 cups of rice
4-5 cups of water or beef broth
1 tbs Better Than Bouillon beef base (omit if you are using beef broth)
salt for taste
pepper for taste

Pickled Mango
1 large not too ripe mango, peeled and chopped into cubes.
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp diced habanero pepper (add more or less).

Caribbean Green Seasoning recipe Directions:
Place oxtail in a bowl and season with salt.  Add all the ingredients, except for the oxtails to a food processor and mix until blended well but not watery. Add a bit f water if you need help getting it going. Add 1-2 cups of the processed herbs and vegetables to the oxtail and coat well. I prefer to add two cups. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and marinate in the fridge for a couple hours or 24 hours.

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Add all the mango ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add to air tight jars and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight. Once the pelau is cooking, I like to dice the mangoes into smaller cubes (or sometimes I Julienne them as shown in the photo way below) just to make it easier to eat with the rice. As you can see in the photos, the pickled mangoes cubes are just about the same size of the pigeon peas.

Caribbean Pickled Mango recipe

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a dutch oven or pot large enough for the oxtails and rice over high heat. Add the brown sugar. Stirring frequently until the sugar is melted and frothing and bubbling turning a dark amber color. Immediately add your meat at that point and sear all sides for about 5 minutes.

Cover the oxtail halfway with water and boil then cover and simmer for about 4-5 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove the meat from the pot and set it to the side to cool off. Once warm enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones leaving it in big pieces. Remove as much fatty oil as you can from the pot. Add to the pot, the rice and cook on high until all the water is evaporated. Once the water is evaporated add two cups of your choice of rice, brown or white (I used white parboiled rice).

Add the water and 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Beef base or or beef broth. If you don’t have either beef broth or the beef base feel free to use only water.   Let the water come to a boil then cover and simmer. Add the beef and pigeon peas and carrots and cover to finish simmering about 25-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper for taste.

 After 25 minutes, check the rice to see if it’s done. If not continue simmering until all the water/beef broth has evaporated. You MAY have to add more water if after 30 minutes the rice isn’t done but the water is evaporated.  Once the Pelau is done serve hot or warm. I prefer to let the flavors marry and serve it warm. Top with a bit or a lot of pickled mangoes.

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I hope you can make this delicious dish. I suggest you marinate the meat overnight but if you are in a hurry 2-4 hours will do. If you make this recipe make sure you use the hashtag #whiskitrealgud on Instagram!

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Trinidad Oxtail Pelau

April Boller Wright
Oxtail Pelau is a simple delicious spicy savory Caribbean dish with caramelized dark brown meat,chicken or fish, served over a bed of rice. By April Ronnecke
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

Green seasoning Marinade right below or store brand green seasoning:

  • 1 bunch parsley about 1 and 1/2cup parsley
  • 7 green onions
  • 1 large red onion
  • 13 garlic cloves
  • bunch of culantro or cilantro about 1 and 1/2 cup
  • 1 half green pepper
  • 1 half red pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 tsp fresh thyme or ground thyme
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1 to mato
  • 1 habanero peppers or scotch bonnet

Rice

  • lb oxtails seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 15 oz can pigeon peas
  • 1 tbs green seasoning
  • 2 cups of rice rinse rice with water until the water runs clear
  • 4 cups of water or beef broth
  • 1 tbs Better than bouillon beef base *optional. Add the btb if you are not using beef broth.
  • salt for taste
  • pepper for taste
  • 1 tsp ketchup 1/ tsp onion powder
  • pinch of onion powder

Pickled Mango

  • 2 large mangoes peeled and chopped into cubes.
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp diced habanero pepper add more or less.

Instructions
 

Directions:

  • Place oxtail in a bowl and season with salt. Add all the ingredients, except for the oxtails to a food processor and mix until blended well but not watery. Add a bit of water if you need help getting it going. Add 1-2 cups of the processed herbs and vegetables to the oxtail and coat well. I prefer to add two cups. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and marinate in the fridge for a couple hours or 24 hours.
  • Add all the mango ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Add mango to air tight jars and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight. Once the pelau is cooking, I like to dice the mangoes into smaller cubes (or sometimes I julienne them as shown in the one photo, just to make it easier to eat with the rice. As you can see in the photos, the pickled mangoes cubes are just about the same size of the pigeon peas.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a dutch oven or pot large enough for the oxtails and rice over high heat. Add the brown sugar. Stirring consistently until the sugar is melted and frothing and bubbling turning a dark amber color. Immediately add your meat at that point and sear all sides for about 5 minutes.
  • Cover the oxtail halfway with water add the habanero pepper and boil then cover and simmer for about 4-4.5 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Remove the meat from the pot and set it to the side to cool off. Once warm enough to handle, remove all the meat from the bones in big pieces. Remove as much fatty oil as you can from the pot. Add to the pot, the rice and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the water and 1 tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon Beef base or if you have beef broth you can use that instead of water. If you don't have any of those, adding just water is fine too. Let it come to a boil then simmer. Add the oxtail, pigeon peas and carrots and cover to finish simmering about 25-30 minutes.
  • After 25 minutes, check the rice to see if it's done. If not continue simmering until all the water/beef broth has evaporated. You MAY have to add more water if after 30 minutes the rice isn't done but the water is evaporated. Once the Pelau is done, season with salt and pepper. Serve dish hot or warm. I prefer mine warm. Top with pickled mangoes.
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Trinidad Oxtail Pelau

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10 Comments

  1. Cooking the recipe today and I have a few questions: Should the marinade be tossed out or included in the pot after searing the oxtails? How much brown sugar? I’m going to improvise but an update would be appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Charli. You will use only 1 tbsp of the green seasoning marinade. If you check out the recipe, the measurement for the green seasoning in under the “rice”ingredients. Oh and you’ll need to use 2lbs of oxtails and 2tbs of brown sugar. Make sure you don’t burn the sugar. If you do, you probably should start over again. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi, April. Thanks so much for your response. I see now that the measurements were written above.

        The recipe is excellent and the dish came out awesome. I ended up not including the oil to burn the sugar because the oxtails generate a lot of oil once seared. Also, though I included all of the seasoning, once the oxtails cooked I skimmed out the oil on top and any large chunks of seasoning. I love seasoning so even though I included all it worked for me. Then I added half a can of coconut milk, as it’s done with chicken pelau. Finally, the next time I think I’m going to boil the oxtails in the marinade without the browning. When it cooks I can toss out most of the broth with the fat than brown the cooked oxtail. That’ll be a healthy variation for me.

        Love your recipes, April. Keep ’em coming!5 stars

        1. Hi Charli! You did good! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for trying it out and I love your adaptions! Take care and stay safe!

  2. Big congrats on putting together your first youtube video. That is a huge accomplishment and you should be proud. Videos are on my list of things to do this year. . .but I can barely stay afloat as it is.

    As for this Oxtail Pelau. . .what a great contribution for Black History month. That caramelize meat sounds outstanding as does that pickled Mango.

    1. Right, videos are a lot of work but I’m glad I finally tackled it. Thanks so much Lynn!

  3. OMG!! I just love this recipe. Wonder if I can substitute the meat with a vgetable, maybe mushroom or something like that. I can imagine the slightly sweet taste the caramelisation will give to this dish. Gotta try soon!

    1. Sure can. Mushrooms actually sound really good. Give it a try! Thank you!

  4. Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade says:

    My parents are from Trinidad, and this dish brings back so many memories! My mom always made it with chicken, but still. I live in a small town in Oklahoma now, and the other day I saw oxtail at our local butcher shop. I was so excited! Now I know what I can make with it. Thanks for sharing

    1. I usually use chicken but sometimes I crave oxtails. I just love them. Thanks for stopping by Karyl!

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