Barbara Kafka

Mexican-ish Oxtails


While I was in Mexico, I went into a huge super market, a Walmart—not my usual store. I was amazed. There were the products that I was used to as well as Mexican staples. I use ingredients that I don’t usually. They worked fine. The bouillon cubes avoided the addition of more liquid. The only thing is that the oxtails will have to be ordered ahead and ensuing negotiations take place with the butcher to cut it across into one-inch thick slices.

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 oxtails cut into 1-inch slices, about 8 pounds

1 package Pomi tomato puree

2 medium onions thinly sliced

2½ cup red wine

5 cloves peeled garlic

6 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes

2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 to 5 mild hot peppers such as jalapeños

Kosher salt to taste

Black pepper to taste


I use two twelve-inch sauté pans to accelerate the process but, of course, cooking can be done in batches. Brown oxtail pieces in a single layer until browned. Turn over. Continue browning until all pieces are browned.

Remove oxtail to a casserole or a Dutch oven. Put onion slices in remaining fat and brown lightly; add to meat. Pour in wine. Tuck garlic cloves and bouillon cloves into mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the jalapeños or other peppers on top. Cover. Cook over medium heat for two-and-a-half to three hours until meat is soft. Add more red wine if desired.

Serve over rice to six to eight friends. Delicious.

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