Ever been to one of your favorite restaurants and thought “how do they make this?!” Well, we went out to find answers for you. One of Jersey City’s beloved spots, Freetown Road Project, is giving Hoboken Girl readers the secret to its famed Halal Oxtail Stew.
Chef Claude Lewis of Freetown Road Project blazes a trail of Caribbean flavors for his customers. He is a Jersey City native and wanted to bring more awareness of the delicious flavors of this cuisine to the city. With Jersey City holding the title for ‘Most Diverse City’ it’s the perfect home for Chefs’ creations. Claude has been cooking for over 25 years and this knowledge and experience have allowed him to compete and win Food Network’s Chopped Champion award.
Dishes enjoyed by Freetown Road’s customers are authentic recipes from Antigua and the West Indies. Freetown Road gets its name from the villages where Claude’s parents grew up, Freetown Village and Old Road Village, both in Antigua West Indies. Claude is also the former head chef of another local favorite, Porta.
When we asked Chef Claude to share their top recipe he said, “This is a unique dish because so many different cultures eat oxtail in many different preparations. This single dish can unite groups that would normally not.”
This dish can sound intimidating for the home cook but the simple recipe Claude has given readers will ensure even the most novice cook will be able to bring Antigua to their kitchen. Chef Lewis’s pro tip to preparing Halal Oxtail Stewthese oxtails like the Chopped champ he is is to “season them overnight to get the best flavor”. This allows the salt to season the meat throughout.
The caramelized sweetness of the brown sugar in combination with the herbs is the perfect pairing for the tender-braised oxtail. This dish is paired with a side of rice and beans, which is the perfect complement to the tender, fall-apart meat. It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious and will have you thinking you’re right in Antigua – until you step back outside and realize you’re right on Newark Avenue.
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Dreaming of the Caribbean flavors yet? Tie your apron on tight and get into the kitchen to try Freetown’s Oxtail Stew recipe.
Halal Oxtail Stew
- – 2 lb oxtails cut into small pieces
- – 1 tsp salt
- – 1 tsp pepper
- – 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- – 1/2 c brown sugar
- – 1 c diced onion
- – 2 bay leaves
- – Saucepan with lid
- – Season oxtails with salt and pepper the day before or at least for an hour.
- – Put sugar in a saucepan on low heat, meltdown, and allow to turn brown dark. It will look almost burnt.
- – Add onions and saute in sugar until soft. Add thyme and cook till aromatic
- – Add oxtails and coat in sugar and onions.
- – Lastly, add 2 to 3 quarts of cold water. The water should barely cover the oxtails.
- – Cover and cook at high heat for 1 hour and 15 mins to get fall off the bone oxtails.
- – Serve with some rice and beans.
- Chefs Tip: You can add potatoes, beans, carrots, etc.