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Guiso de Cola de Res (Oxtail Stew)

Andrea Pavlov from United States

30 minutes
Cooks in
2.5-3 hours
Country of origin

I can feel the cool, crisp mountain air caressing my nose and cheeks, rosy from the cold temperatures. The air is filled with a mixture of rice and stew cooking in the outdoor kitchen, meats and chorizo sizzling on the grill, and the familiar earthiness that comes with being on a farm. The women are huddled in the kitchen, gossiping over the oxtail stew slowly simmering away and the men are gathered around the grill outside, beers in hand, belting out laughter and cracking jokes. My brother and I are running around the farm among the chickens and goats with all of our cousins, alternating between playing tag and hide and seek while trying to keep warm and work up an appetite for the feast that will eventually ensue.
When I cook oxtail stew, with that familiar aroma taking over my kitchen, I can’t help being transported back to my childhood, on a family ranch in the mountains of Bogota, Colombia. Sitting at a long wooden table, surrounded by endless landscapes of mountains and forests, there are aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, brothers and sisters, passing around plates full of grilled meats, sausages and chorizo, steamed white rice, yuca, potatoes, avocado and tomato salad, and the one dish I always looked forward to the most, my grandmother’s oxtail stew. It’s the perfect combination of warmth, comfort and richness. Together with so much love, it’s like being held in your grandmother’s tender embrace.
Oxtail stew is a staple of traditional Colombian cuisine, a personal family favorite, and above all, my go-to when I’m feeling nostalgic for those favorite summers spent as a child in the mountains surrounded by incredible food and loving family


  • 4lbs Oxtail
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro and fresh thyme tied in a bundle
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1lb frozen yuca
  • 1lb red potatoes
  • 4 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  • Pour flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl and mix well
  • Coat oxtail in flour mixtures and dust off excess
  • Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat and add oxtail in batches to brown on each side
  • Transfer oxtails to plate and reserve
  • Reduce heat to medium, add onions, celery and carrots, salt and pepper to taste, cook until tender, about 10 minutes
  • Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes
  • Add tomatoes, thyme and cilantro bunch, and bay leaves, cook until tomatoes thicken, about 5 minutes
  • Add wine to decaramelize
  • Return oxtails to dutch oven and any left over juices
  • Add enough broth to where oxtail is not fully submerged
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for one hour
  • After one hour, remove cilantro and thyme bundle, stir and add yuca and potatoes and more broth if necessary
  • Cover and let cook for another hour or until meat is tender
  • Serve over steamed white rice, with fresh sliced avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish


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