Rabo Guisado (Oxtail Stew)
#Adobo #Classic Sofrito #Dinner #gluten-free #Recaito #recipes #Sazón #sofrito #tostonera

Rabo Guisado (Oxtail Stew)

Tender oxtail infused with fresh herbs and organic spices.

Jun 27, 2024

By: Elena Gergis | @madewithsaz0n

Rabo Guisado, or oxtail stew, is a savory Caribbean dish that features fall-off-the-bone, tender beef, in a rich sauce infused with Sofrito, herbs, and spices. Paired with sides like arroz blanco, tostones, and avocado, this dish is a complete delicacy.

Rabo guisado plated

Rabo Guisado is prepared many different ways in different parts of the Caribbean. In the Dominican Republic and Cuba, the dish is called Rabo Encendido and typically includes some form of alcohol such as beer, wine, rum, or brandy. In Puerto Rico, alcohol is not typically used and the sauce mainly consists of Sofrito, tomato sauce, herbs, and spices. In Jamaica, oxtail is prepared with browning sauce and scotch bonnet peppers. I personally enjoy taking a piece of each traditional recipe and putting my own spin on this delicious dish.

Sofrito herbs and spices

What is oxtail?

Oxtail is the tail of a cow. The tail is skinned and cut into sections. In some cases, oxtail can be the tail of an ox or bull. Mature female cattle are called cows and mature male cattle are bulls. The term ox refers to bulls that are castrated, which makes them docile and safer to work with.

Ingredients for making Oxtail Stew:

  • Oxtail, cut at the joint
  • Achiote oil
  • Sofrito
  • Recaito
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lime juice 
  • Garlic
  • Organic Adobo
  • Organic Sazón
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground oregano
  • Ground black pepper
  • Red wine
  • Bouillon
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Onion + Peppers
  • Bay leaves
  • Culantro

How to make oxtail stew?

Clean the oxtail

Clean the oxtail thoroughly by rinsing with plenty of cold water and white vinegar. Trim off any excess fat and set aside.

Marinate the oxtail

In a large mixing bowl, add achiote oil (you can make your own using Loisa's Organic Whole Annatto Seeds), Loisa Sofrito, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, crushed garlic, Organic Adobo, Organic Sazón, Organic Garlic Powder, Organic Ground Oregano, and Organic Ground Black Pepper. Add in the oxtail and toss to coat with the marinade. Cover and allow to marinate for at least one hour, or overnight.

Oxtail in pan

Cook the oxtail

I like to brown the oxtail in caramelized sugar. This helps add color and depth of flavor to the beef. Once browned, remove the oxtail and set aside.

In a pressure cooker, add achiote oil, onions and peppers. Add the oxtail and pour in the remaining marinade. Add the wine, tomato sauce, and bouillon. Add enough water to cover the oxtail. Add bay leaves and culantro leaves. Cover and cook for about 30-45 minutes. Serve with your sides of choice and enjoy!

What to serve with Rabo Guisado?

Rabo guisado is a savory dish that pairs well with sides like arroz blanco, tostones, and avocado. Root vegetables like malanga or yuca con mojo are also great options. Lime wedges also help enhance the flavors of the stew.

Plated Rabo Guisado with Loisa products in the background

Tips and tricks

  • If the broth is too watery, thicken it with a cornstarch slurry. Mix equal parts of cornstarch and cold water. Start with 1 tablespoon of corn starch + 1 tablespoon of water. Add it to the broth and stir while the flame is on medium. The heat will help the cornstarch thicken the broth nicely. This is usually enough but add a little more slurry, if necessary.
  • Use drinking wine, not cooking wine. Cooking wine contains salt and additives that can ruin the flavors of this dish. Drinking wine will enhance the flavors and take this dish to a new level! I recommend dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Merlot.
  • If you prefer onions and peppers with texture, add them in 15 minutes before the end of cooking time. Otherwise, they will soften and disintegrate into the sauce.
  • If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can cook this dish in a caldero or Dutch oven. It will take about 2 hours for the oxtail to become tender.
  • Once the oxtail is fall-off-the-bone tender, remove the aromatics (culantro, bay leaves) and skim the excess fat collected at the top.