Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sancocho de Cola De Res (Ox Tail Stew)

Ox Tail Stew
Cooks who hired on the various outfits during the cattle drives came from many different ethnic backgrounds. Their cultural heritage influenced the cooking styles used working the chuckwagon with ingredients on hand, their culinary knowledge and the available time to prepare meals.  Creations often simple were given unique names like Son of a Gun Stew, Cornmeal Mush or  Black Pudding.  Sancocho de Cola De Res, a Spanish influenced stew was made by cooks of other heritage called niú-wěi-tāng to the hand full of Chinese cooks that work the trail drives. The Gringo's just called the dish, Ox Tail Soup that would later become so popular, the Campbell Soup Company founded in 1866 would eventually carry the product. Although today, it has been discontinued by Campbell's in the United States, the Heinz company continues to sell this canned entree in the United Kingdom.  

The secret to a great Ox Tail Stew is adding calabaza 'pumpkin.' states Blanca Valbuena, Editor and Chief of  "It works to thicken and flavor the soup.  Colombians use pretty much every part of the cow. When you go to the galleria (the farmer’s market) you will find all the yummy parts that are unusual to people in the United States: Brain, Eyeballs, Tripe, Tongue and Ox Tail to name a few.  I think ox tail is a nice way to introduce people to more unusual parts. It is simply scrumptious. This is my family recipe for ox tail stew. There are no real measurements, you just add more or less depending on how many people will be eating that day."


Ox Tail (make sure it’s cut into individual pieces)
Chicken Stock
Green plantain (Do not peel or chop the plantain until the moment you’re putting it in the stew)
Scallion (1 stalk)
Potato (chopped)
Yucca  (chopped)
Pumpkin (chopped, skinned and seeded)


Put the ox tail in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for an hour (if you don’t have chicken stock, use water).
Add the plantain and corn, cook for 1/2 hour.
Add the potato and pumpkin (calabaza), cook for 1/2 hour.
Add the yucca (cassava), cook for 1/2 hour.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Serve with a side of white rice and a slice of avocado. You can also slice a banana and add to the soup. I know it sounds weird, but is really delicious.
Ox Tail Stew

Photos provide by Friends Eat: 
Read more about Blanca Valbuena

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