Tender and delicious, oxtail stew is a rich and hearty stew made with oxtails, corn, potatoes, and the traditional flavors of Puerto Rico.
Oxtail stew is an often overlooked stew recipe. Once known as a "cheap" cut of meat, oxtails are now a sought after meat for it's desired tenderness that comes from hours of cooking this fatty cut of meat.
Where do oxtails come from?
Oxtails are just like they sound like, the tail of an ox. Oxtails are tails that have been skinned, with a thick meaty portion surrounding the bone marrow.
When you buy oxtails from the supermarket or butcher, often times the excess fat has been trimmed. If you find that your oxtails are extremely fatty, you may want to trim some of the excess fat.
Should I use fresh or frozen oxtails for oxtail stew?
Fresh is always best! I could go on and on, but if you have a choice, please choose fresh oxtails for rabo guisado.
How to make oxtail stew
Puerto Rican oxtail stew typically takes hours to cook, but today we will be making oxtails in the Instant Pot. (I will leave a stove top oxtail stew recipe below.)
Start by seasoning your oxtails the night before. You want to allow the oxtails to really marinate and take in as much flavor as possible deep into the bone marrow. This will ensure an extremely rich and flavorful oxtail stew recipe.
Be mindful that when cooking with an Instant Pot, you always want to be a little more generous with seasonings.
Outside of the seasoned oxtails, there are basically two more whole ingredients, thick cuts of potatoes and corn on the cob. You can choose to add additional ingredients, such as celery, carrots, garbanzo beans, etc.
I chose to keep this Puerto Rican oxtail stew on the simple side, this Instant Pot oxtail stew recipe is great for beginners!
You can use frozen or fresh corn on the cob for this oxtail stew recipe. For the potatoes, I used red potatoes and peeled them. I then cut them in half -yes, half! If you're making this rabo guisado on the stove, you can cut your potatoes into bite size chunks.
Now you throw it all in the Instant Pot!
What to serve with oxtails
For this particular recipe, you could never go wrong with rice of any sort!
Here are some good side dishes to go with stewed oxtails:
Instant Pot Oxtail Stew (Rabo Guisado)
- Instant Pot
- 2 pounds of oxtails rinsed well
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- ½ tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 8 oz of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of homemade sofrito
- 1 packet of Sazon con achiote
- 3 cups of water
- 3 potatoes peeled and halved
- 4 whole corn on the cobs
- Season oxtails with seasonings in a bowl.
- Add oxtails and remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot.
- Set pressure to high and cook for 55 minutes.
- Allow for a natural release.