Rabo Encendido

Rabo Encendido is a Cuban dish of oxtails cooked slowly with vegetables like capsicums, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and onions spiced with allspice, nutmeg and chillies. Other modern versions include cocoa powder, celery, and chipotle but in its most traditional style these ingredients were never used. Old recipes were quite hot hence the name “Rabo Encendido” which roughly means “Tail on Fire”, but most of the versions that exist today have a toned down flavour.

For our recipe, I had made the hot and spicy version, this perhaps is one of the best stews I ever made, the melting vegetables along with the blend of spices makes the oxtails really flavourful. On its owns it’s awesome but with the very tasty sauce I suggest try it with rice, crusty bread or even a pasta.

Rabo Encendido
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5-6
  • 1½ kg oxtails
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 large white onions, chopped
  • 1 large green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • oil
  • salt
  1. Brown oxtails in olive oil, set aside
  2. Sauté onion, garlic, chilli flakes, carrots, green capsicum and red capsicum for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour white wine, chopped tomatoes and beef broth
  4. Add allspice, nutmeg, cayenne, bay leaves, salt and oxtails, bring to a boil
  5. Cover pot then simmer in low heat for 2 to 2.5 hours or until meat is really tender



2 Responses

  1. kiwidutch says:


    The description “tail on fire” must be one of the best recipe descriptions ever!
    I was just finishing drinking a glass of water and almost spluttered water over my keyboard. The mop-up of the sofa, my shirt and my hands is all your fault lol!

  2. suituapui says:

    Hot and spicy! Count me in! I’m all for it!

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