This rabo encendido is loaded with beef oxtails, potatoes, carrots, and spices. A hearty Cuban classic dish that is comforting and packed with flavor.
Rabo encendido literally means tail on fire. Although this isn’t a spicy dish, it has so much flavor! But you can, of course, adjust the spices to your liking.
Why I Love This Rabo Encendido Recipe
- I grew up eating it and this recipe is very similar to my Cuban grandmother’s recipe.
- It cooks long and slow and the result is fork-tender delicious meat falling off the bone.
- Perfect for those cold winter nights!
- Any leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Beef Oxtails – Oxtail refers to a tail of a cow. It’s super fatty and can be very pricey. If you can’t find beef oxtails, I recommend using beef short ribs instead.
Vino Seco – Dry white wine that can be found in the Hispanic section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find it, feel free to use red or white wine.
Top Tips For The Ultimate Rabo Encendido
- Season the beef oxtails on all sides generously with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
- Cook the oxtails for no less than 3 hours!
- Make sure to stir after one hour so the oxtails don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Check the oxtails around the 2-hour mark and add more water if needed.
- Want to make it spicy? Add diced green chilies and red crushed pepper flakes.
- Because oxtails are very fatty, they will release a lot of oil. Remove the excess oil with a ladle.
What Can I Serve This With?
This can be served with creamy mashed potatoes or white rice.
More Cuban Recipes
- Cuban Shrimp Creole – Juicy and tender shrimp cooked in a tomato spiced broth.
- Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans – Dried black beans pressure cooked to perfection.
- Cuban Stuffed Peppers – Super flavorful and easy to make!
- Congri – A Cuban classic rice dish.
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Rabo Encendido (Cuban Oxtail)
- Heavy Bottom Pot
- 4 lbs Beef Oxtails trimmed
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 tbsp sofrito
- 6 garlic cloves finely minced
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp vino seco dry white wine (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sazon
- 1/4 cup olives pitted (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Trim off any excess fat off the beef oxtails and season them generously on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a large heavy bottom pot and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook the oxtails for 4 minutes on each side. Don't overcrowd the pan. Work in batches if needed.
- Remove the oxtails from the pot and set them aside and reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Add the onions, sofrito, and peppers and cook until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 10 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook for 20 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, vino seco, cumin, olives, oregano, chili powder, bay leaf, and sazon.
- Place the beef oxtails back in the pot and cover with chicken stock. Increase the heat to high and let it come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cover and cook for 1 hour. Uncover and gently stir the oxtails so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Cover and cook for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Add 2-3 cups of water if needed, potatoes, and carrots.
- Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. Discard any excell oil. Check for seasoning and enjoy!