Friday, April 12, 2024

Web Extra: A Taste of Trinidad

In the April issue of Boca magazine, we reached out to local chefs who specialize in Caribbean fare to learn more about island cooking and its influence on South Florida cuisine. We found that preparing an authentic island meal isn’t easy, but fortunately Timon Balloo, chef and owner of Fort Lauderdale’s The Katherine, shared the recipe for his mom’s famous Trinidian oxtail so you can enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at home.

Chef Tim Balloo, photo by Andrew Meade

Marinated Oxtail


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, root ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments
  • 8 sprigs coriander, whole
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry jerk marinade
  • 3 pounds oxtail cut to 1-2”


Combine all ingredients except oxtail in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour over oxtail, massage, cover and marinate overnight.

Oxtail Stew


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more if needed
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 4 ounces) cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) celery, cut into 1” chunks
  • 1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) carrots, cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 8 sprigs coriander, whole
  • 3 scallion, root end trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
  • 2 quarts stock (beef or chicken)


In a large braising pan on medium high heat, add oil and brown meat on both sides. Remove from pan and add remainder of ingredients and sauté until tender. Return oxtail to pan, cover with stock and braise in an oven at 350° for 2 to 3 hours or until tender. Serve with desired accompaniments.

Coconut Pigeon Peas and Rice 


  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-15oz can pigeon peas and liquid from cans
  • 1-13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 2.5 cups parboiled rice


  • Heat oil in a medium, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, soy sauce and cook, stirring until paste begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes more.
  • Add pigeon peas, coconut milk and salt to the pot; bring to a boil. Stir in rice and return water to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer, without stirring, until water completely evaporates. Stir rice from bottom up. Reduce heat to lowest setting; cover pot. Cook, covered, until rice is completely tender, about 20 minutes.

This Web Extra is from the April 2024 issue of Boca magazine. For more like this, click here to subscribe to the magazine.

Tyler Childress
Tyler Childress
Tyler is the Web Editor and a contributing writer for Boca Raton magazine. He writes about food, entertainment and issues affecting South Florida. Send story tips to

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