How to make oxtail stew?
How to make oxtail stew?

How to make oxtail stew?

Oxtail or bull’s tail is typical of Andalusian cuisine, from Cordoba. It is a stew which is characterized by its soft, tender texture and its intense and unique flavor. How to make oxtail stew?

Oxtail stew: a favorite of Cordovan cuisine.

Oxtail is a stew made with pieces of ox or bull bones, but it can also be made with veal. The bones are surrounded by vertebral musculature and that is the meat that you will consume when  you eat  this stew. The oxtail is extracted, as its name indicates, from the last vertebrae of the animal, which is the closest to the tail.

It is a very easy recipe, but it requires some time to prepare. For this recipe, you should ask the butcher to cut the meat and cut it into different portions; bear in mind that the oxtail usually comes whole and you will need to cook it in pieces; as it is meat with bone, you need a good knife or the butcher to do the quartering.

Oxtail recipe


  • One kilo of oxtail in pieces.
  • Two medium onions.
  • Two carrots.
  • One green bell pepper.
  • One leek.
  • Two cloves of garlic.
  • Two medium potatoes.
  • 200 milliliters of red wine.
  • Wheat flour.
  • 400 milliliters of tomato sauce or natural crushed tomato.
  • 500 milliliters of meat broth. You can use ladles or cubes dissolved in water or simply substitute the broth for half a liter of water.
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Two cloves.
  • Fresh parsley.
  • A bay leaf.


  • The first thing to do is to cut the meat into pieces if the butcher has not done it for you. You will need a knife with a serrated blade, as you will need to break the bone to be able to separate the meat.
  • You will also need to take the meat out of the refrigerator two hours before cooking. It is very important that the oxtail is at room temperature before cooking.
  • Peel and dice the onions.
  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a deep saucepan and add the onions.
  • Meanwhile, peel and cut the carrots into small slices and these, in turn, into halves. Add them to the pot.
  • Cut the bell pepper into cubes. Remember not to add the seeds. Add the bell pepper to the pot.
  • Clean and slice the leek and add it to the pot with the other ingredients.
  • Peel the garlic and chop it finely. Do not slice them. If you can, use a mortar to crush them or cut them into small pieces.
  • Add salt and pepper to the mixture.
  • Stir the vegetables into the oil.
  • Note that it may be necessary to adjust the oil. Do not hesitate to do so.
  • The vegetables should simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • While you are preparing the vegetables, season the meat. Add salt and pepper, you can also add a pinch of cumin, but it is not usual.
  • Spread flour on a wide plate and roll the meat in it.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan and, when it is hot, but without burning, add the pieces of meat.
  • Fry them and, when they have browned, add them to the pan with the vegetables.
  • When you have placed the meat in the pan, add the bay leaf, the cloves and the red wine.
  • Let it boil so that the alcohol evaporates.
  • When the alcohol has evaporated (it will not take more than two minutes), add the meat stock or water.
  • Stir and add the tomato sauce or crushed natural tomato.
  • Stir very well so that all the ingredients are incorporated and mixed properly.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Cover the pot and let it cook for one hour.
  • Although it is not usually necessary, from time to time, check the liquid level and, if you notice that it is evaporating, add another glass of water or beef broth.
  • After one hour, remove the oxtail pieces from the pot and set them aside on a separate plate or platter. Cover the bowl of your choice with aluminum foil to keep the heat in the meat.
  • Pass the sauce or broth through the blender. To do this, remove the mixture from the heat and blend until you have a uniform paste.
  • Once the sauce is ready, you can take it back to the fire and introduce the oxtail to heat it up.
  • While the oxtail stew is on the heat, peel and cut the potatoes into slices of the same thickness and fry them. To do this, add plenty of olive oil to a frying pan. When ready, set aside on a plate, covered with kitchen paper (to absorb the oil).
  • Serve the oxtail with the fried potatoes and sprinkle some chopped parsley on top. If you do not have fresh parsley, you can also use dried parsley.

This stew is usually made in a pressure cooker. If you do not have this type of pot, then add half a liter of water to the mixture (in addition to the beef broth), to prevent the liquids from evaporating during cooking and the stew from drying out. This is a way to prevent and avoid, during cooking, having to keep an eye on the level of liquid in the pot.

Oxtail is best consumed from one day to the next. In this way, all the flavors settle when they are in the refrigerator. In addition, the texture will be much better. The next day, heat the stew in the same pot, over low heat.

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