Bull's tail, or "rabo de toro" Recipe

Bull's tail, or "rabo de toro" in Spanish, is a delicious and hearty dish that originates from Spain. It's a slow-cooked stew made from the tail of a bull, which is simmered for several hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce is rich and flavorful. In this article, we'll explore the history and preparation of this iconic Spanish dish.

History of Rabo de Toro

Bullfighting has been a popular sport in Spain for centuries, and the consumption of bull meat has been part of the culture for just as long. The tail of the bull was considered a delicacy, and it was often reserved for special occasions or served to honored guests. Over time, the dish became more widely available, and it is now a staple in many Spanish restaurants.

Preparation of Rabo de Toro

To prepare rabo de toro, the tail is first cleaned and cut into small pieces. It's then marinated in red wine, garlic, and various herbs and spices to infuse it with flavor. The meat is then browned in a large pot, along with onions, carrots, and other vegetables, before being simmered in a rich sauce made from tomatoes, red wine, and beef broth. The dish is typically cooked for several hours until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.

Variations of Rabo de Toro

There are many variations of rabo de toro, and each region of Spain has its own unique take on the dish. In some areas, the stew is thickened with bread or almonds, while others add olives, capers, or even chocolate to the sauce. Some cooks also add other cuts of meat, such as beef or pork, to the stew to give it more depth of flavor.

Serving Rabo de Toro

Rabo de toro is typically served with crusty bread or a side of potatoes. It's a hearty dish that is perfect for cooler weather, and it's often served during the fall and winter months. It pairs well with a robust red wine, such as a Rioja or a Tempranillo.

In conclusion, rabo de toro is a delicious and hearty dish that is steeped in tradition and history. Whether you're in Spain or trying it at home, it's a meal that is sure to satisfy and impress. So next time you're in the mood for something hearty and flavorful, give rabo de toro a try!

Recipe for rabo de toro


  • 2 lbs bull's tail, cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bull's tail pieces and brown them on all sides, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.

  2. In the same pot, add the onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened.

  3. Add the red wine and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the wine has reduced by half.

  4. Add the beef broth, diced tomatoes, and the bull's tail pieces back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the sauce has thickened.

  6. Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Serve the rabo de toro hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.

Enjoy your delicious and hearty rabo de toro stew!

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