Brazilian Oxtail Stew (Rabada)

This European-style hearty oxtail stew is a favorite in Brazil, especially in the state of Minas Gerais.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 4 hoursDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 4 lbs. oxtail, cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½" pieces
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • ½ cup chopped scallions


  • Soak the oxtail in salted cold water for 30 minutes, then rinse well. Remove any excess fat. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Add 4 tablespoons olive oil to a heavy stockpot over high heat. Add the oxtail and sauté until well browned on all sides, about 5 minutes (work in batches if necessary). Remove from pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to the stockpot. Lower heat to medium and sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, carrots, cilantro, cumin, and paprika and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 5–8 minutes.
  • Increase heat to high and add the oxtail back to the pot, along with bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until meat is very tender, about 2½ hours. Uncover and simmer stew until it thickens to desired consistency, about 20 minutes.
  • Garnish with scallions just before serving. Serve warm.