Rabo Encendido is a traditional Cuban dish made with braised oxtail and a savory, tomato-based sauce. It’s a comforting dish that’s easy to make and has an incredibly unique flavor. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal to impress your family or just want to enjoy a comforting bowl of flavorful food, this rabo encendido recipe is a classic that’s sure to satisfy.
Preparing the Oxtail
The most important ingredient in rabo encendido is the oxtail. When selecting your oxtail, you should look for pieces that are free of excess fat and bone. The pieces should be thick and have an even size throughout. Once you’ve selected your oxtail, you’ll need to begin the preparation process. To begin, you should rinse the oxtail in cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Next, you’ll want to season the oxtail. To do this, you can use salt and freshly ground pepper, or you can opt to create a dry rub with spices like cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and paprika. Once the oxtail is seasoned, you’ll then want to cover it in white flour. This will help the oxtail to brown nicely and give the rabo encendido a unique and delicious flavor. After you’ve floured the oxtail, you can set it aside while you prepare the sauce.
Making the Sauce
The sauce for rabo encendido is made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and olive oil. To begin making the sauce, you’ll want to heat the olive oil to medium heat in a large pot. Next, you’ll add the diced onions and garlic to the pot and cook them until they’re lightly browned. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, you’ll want to add the diced tomatoes and the seasonings. Stir the mixture and let it simmer for a few minutes. Once the sauce is finished, you’ll want to add the oxtail to the pot. Cover the pot and let the oxtail simmer for about two hours. As the oxtail cooks, be sure to monitor it and add more water or broth as needed.
For the Perfect Rabo Encendido
Once the oxtail has simmered for two hours, you’re ready to enjoy your rabo encendido. Before serving, you can add some finely chopped parsley, oregano, and cilantro for added flavor. You can also top your rabo encendido with a few slices of cooked bacon for a richer flavor. You can adorn your dish with some cooked garbanzo beans, plantains, or even some cooked potatoes. Lastly, you can serve the rabo encendido with a side of rice and some freshly squeezed lime juice.
Time Saving Tips
For those who are looking to make rabo encendido but pressed for time, there are a few time-saving tips to help you make the dish more quickly. First, you can use boxed beef broth instead of adding water or stock to the oxtail while it cooks. This will add even more flavor to the dish and reduce the cooking time by around ten minutes. Second, you can prepare the stew the day before serving. The day before, you can season the meat and cook it for the full two hours. Refrigerate the stew overnight and then reheat it the day you intend to serve it. Doing so will reduce the cooking time on the day of serving by around an hour.
There are many ways to enjoy rabo encendido. You can serve the dish as a stew, or you can pile some of the oxtail onto a sandwich for a heartier meal. You can also serve rabo encendido over rice or mashed potatoes. This makes for a great one-dish meal that’s sure to satisfy.
1. How long should I cook the oxtail for?
The oxtail should cook for at least 2 hours in a pot with the sauce. This will help ensure that the oxtail is tender and flavorful.
2. Should I use fresh or canned tomatoes for the sauce?
It is best to use fresh tomatoes for the sauce, as they will add the most flavor. However, if fresh tomatoes are not available, canned tomatoes can be used.
3. Is rabo encendido a healthy dish?
Yes, rabo encendido is a healthy dish. It is low in calories and packed with veggies and nutrients.
4. Can I cook the rabo encendido the day before?
Yes, you can cook the rabo encendido the day before and then reheat it the day you plan to serve it.
5. What should I serve rabo encendido with?
Rabo encendido is delicious when served with rice, mashed potatoes, or a side of vegetables. You can also enjoy it as a stew.
3–4 lbs oxtail, cut into pieces
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2 cups of beef stock
1/4 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened.
Add the chopped garlic and stir until fragrant.
Add the oxtail and brown on all sides.
Pour in the white wine, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaf, and paprika. Give everything a good stir.
Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until oxtail is tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve warm with a side of bread and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
For extra flavor, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika.
For a richer broth, substitute beef stock with beef bone broth or red wine.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Spanish
- Diet: Halal
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 450 kcal
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 960mg
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Unsaturated Fat: 15g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 30g
- Cholesterol: 120mg
Keywords: Rabo Encendido,Spanish Cuisine,Stew,,,,