Oxtail Stew

Actually "Rabo Encendido" (literally means Lit Tail) is more of a stew than a soup, at least the Cuban version, and there are as many versions as there are Cuban cooks. 

Here it is.


  • 4 pounds oxtail, cut in chunks
  • Flour for dredging meat
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Two onions, chopped
  • Two green peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened chocolate powder(for a slight mole taste)
  • One can (12 ounce) tomato sauce
  • One cup red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup dice potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery


Dredge the meat with flour. In a large pan or Dutch oven, brown the meat on both sides in the oil, approximately five to six minutes. Remove meat. Sauté the onions and green pepper in the same pan. When the onions start to get translucent, add the mashed garlic and cook for one additional minute.

Add the tomato sauce, wine, beef broth and all spices. Add the potatoes, carrots and celery. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer for two hours or until meat is tender on low heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add additional beef broth if needed.

Remove bay leaves, serve.