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5 from 1 vote

Trinidad Oxtail Pelau

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
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Author April


Green seasoning Marinade right below or store brand green seasoning:

  • 1 bunch parsley about 1 and ½cup parsley
  • 7 green onions
  • 1 large red onion
  • 13 garlic cloves
  • bunch of culantro or cilantro about 1 and ½ cup
  • 1 half green pepper
  • 1 half red pepper
  • cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ tsp fresh thyme or ground thyme
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1 to mato
  • 1 habanero peppers or scotch bonnet


  • 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.
  • cup white vinegar
  • tsp salt
  • tsp diced habanero pepper add more or less.



  • 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.