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Chef Kwame Onwuachi’s Oxtail Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

by Chef Kwame Onwuachi


Chef Kwame Onwuachi Oxtail Shepherd’s Pie Recipe



5 lbs. of beef oxtails, cut between joints

1 c. of jerk paste

6 tbsp. turbinado sugar

4 garlic cloves peeled, minced

1/2 fresh ginger, peeled

4 finely chopped scallions

12 whole allspice berries, crushed

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 scotch bonnet chili

2 fresh bay leaves

2 tsp. browning seasoning

1 tbsp. Kwame’s Mom’s House Spice

1 tbsp. toasted curry powder

20 whole allspice berries


Trim excess fat from oxtails – leave a thin, 1/8″ fat cap or more if preferred.
In a bowl, combine jerk paste, sugar, garlic, ginger, scallion, crushed allspice, thyme, scotch bonnet, bay leaves, browning, Kwame’s Mom’s House Spice, and toasted curry powder. Mix, then add oxtails and marinate in a non-reactive container for 24-48 hours



2 medium yellow onions
3 qt. chicken stock
1 1/4 c. diced carrots

2 tsp. Diamond Crystal salt
As needed any neutral oil or grapeseed oil
1 1/4 c. diced chayote squash


Heat 4 tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven and heat until nearly smoking over medium-high heat. While oil is heating, scrape marinade from oxtails then season with salt and sear in batches until deeply browned on all sides – about 3 minutes each side. Do not crowd the pan. Repeat until all oxtails are seared and reserve for later.
While oxtails are searing, slice the onion. Once oxtails are seared, add onion and marinade – cook for 5 minutes then deglaze with ½ c. of stock.
Return oxtails to pot along with remaining stock and simmer over medium-low heat for 3-4 hours until tender. Taste after 2 hours to check for spice – remove scotch bonnet as desired or burst for more spice.
Once tender and sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency, remove from heat and remove remaining aromatics: scotch bonnet, thyme, bay leaf, and whole allspice. Add in carrots and chayote squash, combine then let cool for 1 hour.
When rested, remove oxtail from pot and pull meat from bones. Return picked meat to pot and check for seasoning – add salt as desired.



2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
¾ c. heavy cream
¾ c. unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves peeled, minced

2 tsp. Diamond Crystal salt


Cut the potatoes in quarters, they should all be about the same size, and boil in salted water until fork tender – about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large sauce pot, sauté the garlic in the butter for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the cream and turn the heat to low until the potatoes are ready. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water, then spread the potatoes onto a baking pan. Let sit for 5 minutes while the potatoes steam – the edges should begin to look chalky. Once ready, rice the potatoes.

Using a wooden spoon, fold the riced potatoes into the cream mixture – be careful not to overwork the potatoes. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste with salt.

Oxtail Shepherd’s Pie:


To assemble the Oxtail Shepherd’s Pie, preheat oven to 400°F.
In a baking dish, spread the braised oxtail in an even layer at the bottom of the dish. Top with potatoes, and 2 tbsp. of freshly chopped chives, spread evenly as well.

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