Cordoba style oxtail recipe

We tell you how to prepare a delicious homemade Cordoba style oxtail recipe. Discover the steps to follow to amaze all your guests.

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The recipe for Cordoba style oxtail has spread throughout Spain (it even has an international presence), thanks to it being a delicious, velvety dish with an deliciously tasty sauce. Indeed, even though it takes a long time to cook, the result is definitely worthwhile.

This recipe, typical of Andalusian gastronomy, dates back to the 19th century in Cordoba. At that time, the city embraced a notable bullfighting tradition and it was not unusual to find beef from bulls included in many culinary recipes. The upper classes preferred parts like the sirloin before making do with the ears, offal or other less noble areas. It was poorer families that started to cook oxtail and add vegetables from their store cupboards to cook a dish which, cooked slowly, made the most of the meat.

The oxtail recipe is a fantastic opportunity to discover the nuances, flavours and textures of this immensely popular dish.  Let's get to it! 

Ingredients for oxtail

Before we get into how to prepare oxtail, let’s take a look at the ingredients. There are numerous ways of making this recipe, but in this case we will follow the traditional steps of the Cordoba style dish. You will need these ingredients to make our oxtail dish:

  • 1.5 kg oxtail
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 leek
  • 6 garlics
  • 3 glasses red wine
  • ½ litre beef stock
  • tomato passata
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parsley
  • bay leaf

How to prepare Cordoba style oxtail

You need to take into account some preparatory steps to discover how to prepare oxtail. To cook the recipe with an authentic quality, you will need to take great care of the raw material. Do the following:

- Firstly, season the oxtail with salt and pepper. Make sure, beforehand, that the meat is free from fat and any potential hard parts that may appear.

- Flouring the oxtail will be the next task. When you have dipped the meat in the flour, sear the oxtail on all sides in a frying pan with hot oil. The juice released from the meat will be used later to add a stronger flavour to the vegetables, so make sure you keep it.

- When the oxtail has turned golden, remove from the heat and dry using kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.

Preparing the sauce for the oxtail

The sauce for the oxtail is one of the reasons why you will want to prepare this recipe at home, we’re sure of it. They say it’s addictive, so we wouldn’t be surprised if you eat it by the spoonful or dip copious amounts of bread in it. Follow these steps to make it:

- Firstly, chop all of the vegetables. There is no need to chop them very finely as afterwards you will blend them for the sauce.

- In the same oil you fried the oxtail in, and which already tastes of the meat, add the onion and garlic. Fry until they are almost cooked and golden in colour.

- Next, add the carrot, leek and pepper and leave to cook thoroughly. Finally, add the tomato passata to obtain a scrumptious sauce.

Cooking the oxtail

At this point, patience is key; in other words, you have to leave the oxtail to cook. Let’s see what you need to do:

- When the sauce is ready, add the meat to the pan (remember it was seared beforehand).

- Then, add the red wine and beef stock until it completely covers the vegetables and oxtail. This will be the time to add those touches that make this recipe so special: add the bay leaf, parsley and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.

- For the first 10 minutes of cooking, keep the heat on high so all the elements of the saucepan mixed together thoroughly. After that time, leave to cook for four hours on a low heat. In doing so, you will find the meat falls off the bone.

- The last thing to do will be to remove the oxtail and blend the vegetable sauce with the wine (already dealcoholised) in the saucepan. To serve, just place the meat on the plate and bathe with the sauce.

Preparing the side dish for the oxtail

At this point, it's normal to think about a side dish for the oxtail that is fit for the dish; the only thing missing to enjoy our favourite recipe. Potatoes are the answer. Cut into wedges, fried or roasted with fine herbs, they will be the perfect food to add a crunchy touch to the dish.