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Bull's Tail Stew ...one not to be missed
16 April 2021 @ 20:28

 

Oxtail is one of my favourite stew recipes. Slowly cooked over low heat in a dutch oven for about 4 or 5 hours, a real concert of flavours.

Oxtail (Bull's tail) in Spain is cooked in different ways depending on the region in Spain. This recipe is originally from the region of Córdoba, where it was traditionally made with the tails of bulls that were fought in the bull rings, and from here it spread to other areas of Spain. Cordovan oxtail is characterised by being softer than those from the north, since in this region most of the recipes involve macerating the meat in wine overnight, and a strong wine was normally used such as Toro, Ribera del Duero, Rioja.

The most important thing about cooking oxtail is the wine, it must be a really good quality wine because when you are cooking meat for a long time the meat will absorb all of its flavour, it won't just affect the sauce. So if it isn't good enough to drink during the meal don't use it in the recipe.

It's no secret that you can make this stew in the traditional way, in the dutch oven, or by using a pressure cooker if you are strapped for time. The main difference basically comes down to time, being necessary 4 hours of cooking in a dutch oven over low heat and 45-60 minutes in the pressure cooker. The best way to know when it is ready is to check that the meat falls off the bone.

It is important with this type of stew to make it at least one day before you are going to eat it, this way it will have a much richer flavour and you will enjoy it so much more. So what do you need to make it?

 

 

Ingredients:

2 Oxtails. It must be red meat, approx. 2,5 Kg. (The young veal is also sold, the white meat is more tender but it is not suitable for this stew) Ask your butcher to chop it up.
3 carrots
3 leeks (just the white stem)
3 onions
2 ripe tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
2 Sprigs of Thyme
Salt
Pepper
Flour
1.5 bottles of wine 
Beef stock or water
Olive oil


Steps to take:

Soak the oxtail in wine overnight, the same wine you are going to use for the cooking. When you are ready to start, place the oxtail pieces in a baking tray with space between the pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place it in the oven at about 220-230ºC so that it goes golden brown all over.  This will give the sauce a rich colour and intensify the flavour. Once browned, remove from the oven and put to one side.

Chop up the vegetables and gently fry them in the dutch oven with some olive oil. Do this slowly, allowing the vegetables to release all their moisture. This will give a better result. In Spain, they call this the 'sofrito'.

Once the 'sofrito' is ready, sprinkle flour all over the oxtail pieces and add to the pot and cover with red wine. Make sure the alcohol evaporates off completely. 

Add the bay leaves and the thyme and cover with beef stock or water, add a little salt and cook for 4 hours over low heat. Check on the meat from time to time to see how it is progressing and adjust the temperature or cooking time accordingly. I normally start to pay more attention once I hit the 3-hour marker. After the full cooking time, carefully remove the oxtail pieces and use a hand blender to blend the vegetables and the sauce. Pass the sauce through a sieve to make sure all the unwanted bits are removed. You will be left with a wonderfully intense sauce. Serve the meat with the sauce and any side dish you see fit, mashed potatoes or chips are always a hit!

Enjoy.

 

 

 



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1 Comments


lizy said:
17 April 2021 @ 08:26

One of my favourites. My local in Torrevieja cooks the Cordoba version.

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