The history of Andalucian Rabo de Toro

The history of Andalucian Rabo de Toro

Andalusia was occupied by invading Moors from North Africa fro several hundred years, starting around the eighth century and until 1485 when Alhambra fell.

The Catholic monarchs may have reconquered the Iberian Peninsula, but the Arab influence in Andalusia left a distinct mark on the culture and cuisine.
The Moors brought exotic spices and new ingredients that are still prominent in Andalusian dishes. These ingredients include saffron, almonds, zucchini, dates, lemons, oranges, rice, cinnamon and sweet peppers. Moorish tradition also lead to the institution of multi-course meals featuring several smaller dishes rather than one giant plate.

This custom still prevails in Spanish homes, as most families tend to eat each course slowly, eating Tapas or sharing a dish, while focusing more on conversation than the actual act of eating.

Oxtail dishes have a long history all over Europe dating back to the Roman Empire and they go beyond this continent. As slow food is back on track, any oxtail stew is a perfect candidate for a long cooking dinner.

The Andalucian Rabo de toro (literally “tail of the bull” in Spanish) is the name of an medieval dish born in XVI century in Cordoba where it was cooked with tails of corrida slaughtered bulls. They are variations in ingredients, some versions include Sherry, our recipe is more classical.

It takes time to cook this rich stew, simmering at low heat with plenty of vegetables, wine and spices in order to get a soft meat and a rich sauce.

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