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Peppered Oxtail a lo Cubano + Cookbook Giveaway in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

I‘ve been working with Rumba Meats this year to bring awareness, understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity Latin cuisine bears with some delicious recipe development. I did the super fun FB Live with my Mom earlier this year where we cooked together her famous and my favorite oxtail dish. You can see it here.

This time, they asked me to create a varied version of that recipe to be included in a really beautiful cookbook featuring recipes from all 12 of the 21 Latin countries in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month! Not only did they feature my recipe first in the book, but the compilation of stories and traditional recipes from other Latina food bloggers turned out to be a colorful storybook of different experiences with food and how we interpret those featured recipes to play a role in our lives. “Recetas Con Raices” is a an homage to our ancestors’s ways and a simple way to keep the culture alive. That’s what food does! And because I live and do it for the culture, I’m giving away 10 copies of this cookbook. I want you to experience some of my cooking but also some of the others as well.

Here’s the deal. It’s super simple. Follow me on the ‘Gram and leave a comment on this post by 11:59 on Oct. 14th. I’ll choose 5 random new followers who like and comment on the post on Oct. 15th and will announce it in Stories and on my Facebook. Rumba will be sending the cookbooks directly to the winners.

Here’s my excerpt in the book, giving you a bit of insight on this recipe, in English and Spanish.

Oxtail is one of my favorite recipes to make and teach people how to cook. In all its goodness and glory, it’s authentically representative of Cuba’s palate and commitment to resourcefulness. Once considered peasant’s food because of its nature– i.e. the literal tale of a cow, or ox, and only enjoyed by los campesinos — oxtail has become a wildly beloved cut of meat and featured in a lot of nouvelle cuisine and gourmet restaurants. In contrast, my classic version retains the integrity of the oxtail with very little fat trimmed off the bone and cooked in a robust wine and tomato sauce (a passive homage to Cuba’s s African, and European roots).

This recipe, although a loose modification of my mother’s original recipe, was my hero dish in my own cookbook, Modern Pressure Cooking. I’ve been asked over 200 times over the course of my career for this recipe. I finally decided to share it because everyone deserves to eat goodness that allows connection to other rich cultures. I hope you love it as much as all of my friends, my family, clients, readers, and I do!

En Español

A nadie debe sorprenderle que una de mis recetas favoritas, tanto para cocinar como para enseñar a cocinar, sea el rabo de toro o, simplemente, Rabo.

El rabo, en toda su gloria, es un auténtico representante de la ingeniosidad culinaria y paladar cubanos.

Aunque en un tiempo, por su naturaleza y origen, este plato estuvo considerado comida de campesinos -la cola o el rabo de una vaca o un toro, que sólo consumía la gente en el campo- el rabo se convirtió rápidamente en un corte de res altamente solicitado en los menús de novedosas cocinas y restaurantes gourmet. La forma de cocinar el rabo en muchos de estos finos restaurantes quizá difiera de mi estilo, ya que con frecuencia lo preparan separando la carne del hueso, en forma de pequeñas tortas de carne o incluso molido, y en una salsa más bien ligera. Yo lo prefiero en su hueso, sin quitarle mucha grasa, y cocinado en una robusta salsa de vino tino y puré de tomate; un pequeño homenaje a las raíces africanas y europeas de Cuba.

Aunque esta versión que les presento aquí es una ligera modificación de la receta original de mi madre, fue, sin lugar a dudas, mi receta favorita en mi libro Cocinando a Presión al Estilo Moderno -en inglés, Modern Pressure Cooking. En el curso de mi carrera culinaria, me han pedido esta receta más de 200 veces, de manera que finalmente decidí compartirla, porque creo que todo el mundo merece disfrutar de un plato delicioso que les permita relacionarse con la rica cultura de otros.

Así que, espero que les guste y disfruten esta receta, tanto como mis amigos, familiares, clientes, lectores … y yo misma disfrutamos!

Also, check this:

  • In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, from September 15 to October 15, Rumba Meats is designating funds to support La Cocina’s mission and to honor the heritage and culture of Latino Americans. Hispanic Heritage Month pays tribute to Latinos’ contributions to America. At the heart of the Rumba Meats brand is celebration, and this is a great time to honor Latino Americans’ influence on our food culture.
  • La Cocina will use the generous donation from Rumba Meats to support their incubator program, which enables working-class women, people of color and immigrants to become business owners. Over the past 11 years, La Cocina has graduated more than 40 businesses

Guess what that means?! If you make this recipe using Rumba Meats, your meal can make a difference! Your purchase of Rumba Meats® during Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) helps support La Cocina and their efforts, which I’m just learning about and think is much-needed. More of it!

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with me and my friends! See more recipes from the Hispanic diaspora via the link below. ¡Buen Provecho, mi gente!

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

Enjoy
Cuban Braised Peppered Oxtail 
Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. Rumba MeatsⓇ Oxtail
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ cups tomato sauce or 3 medium tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 bottle red wine (Merlot from Argentina)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
Directions:
Clean oxtail, minimally trimming excess fat with paring knife. Some fat is good – it will render and add flavor to the sauce.
In 6-quart Dutch oven, season oxtail with salt. Add olive oil to Dutch oven and heat on low.
Add oxtail; raise heat to medium and brown for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add tomato sauce and remaining dried ingredients, including onion and garlic. Stir gently, and continue cooking over medium heat for 30 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Add wine, red wine vinegar and bell pepper. Stir and close Dutch oven. Cook for an additional 35 to 40 minutes over low to medium heat or until oxtail is tender and appears to fall off bone.
When done, turn off heat, keeping lid on. Let sit for 5-7 minutes. When ready to serve, gently stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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