Food from the World: Rabo de Toro

Spain is one of the most beautiful and more complex countries. It has unique traditions, amazing landscapes and delicious food. Although not all their traditions are accepted in the wide world, their history cannot be changed and when in Rome… you do what the Romans do.

What I can tell you for sure is that they do have a close connection to bulls. From the controversial corridas to the types of dishes based on certain bull meat, Spain is a big ‘bull country.’ This can be seen especially in the south of Spain (Córdoba to be exact) where they use the tails of oxen to cook an incredible sort of food: rabo de toro (oxtail).

Cordoba-toro

Clarification: The difference between a ‘bull’ and an ‘ox’ is no science problem, but let’s just elucidate the mystery and say that a bull is an animal used for breeding while an ox refers to the same animal, but castrated. It was used in the old times mainly for agricultural purposes. Nowadays, when cooking this recipe one may use the tail from oxen, bulls or even cows to prepare a delicious meal.

The secret of rabo de toro

This is a typical food from Córdoba, similar to a slow-cooked stew. Its tradition began around the XVI century when most women had to reinvent their cooking skills in order to cook for large parties. Since they were allowed to take the tails from the bulls killed in the ‘corrida’, this type of food became extremely popular. Soon enough rabo de toro turned from the ‘poor’s food’ into an elegant and ‘aristocratic’ dish. Its secret lies in the mixture of spices that Spanish people use in order to give it a more aromatic taste.

The recipe is quite simple including the famous tail and a few vegetables. Follow the recipe below and bring the Andalusian spirit into your home.

rabo-toro
Photo source: yourspanishrecipes.blogspot.com

How to cook rabo de toro?

Rabo de Toro Ingredients

13-4 pounds oxtail
23 carrots
31 onion
41 red pepper
52-3 tomatoes
64 cloves of garlic
72 cups beef stock
83 cups red wine
9bay leaves
10ground ginger
11salt, pepper, olive oil

How to prepare it?

Start by seasoning the tail with salt and pepper in a large pan drizzled with olive oil. Dust the tail with some flour and throw each piece in the heated oil. Let it brown for 30 seconds on each side. Remove the tail and sauté the onion, garlic, red pepper and tomatoes in the same oil you’ve used for the tail for about 10 minutes. Don’t put too much oil, you don’t want it to come out nauseating.

rabo
Photo source:www.recetin.com

Meanwhile add the carrots, bay leaves and ginger, sautéing for 1 minute.  Toss the tail back into the pan and drown it in wine and stock. Bring everything to a boil and cover it with a lid, letting it simmer for 3 hours.

Check it from time to time to see if the meat is falling away from the bone. When it has become tender enough, remove the meat and smash the vegetables a bit. Serve this dish with ‘patatas fritas’ (French fries) if you want to taste an authentic Spanish meal.

Besides rabo de toro you can also check out our sarmale recipe. They will add a million calories to your diet, but if you resist temptation you will regret it for the rest of your life!

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