• Oxtail Picadillo


The Tail End

I taught a grilling class called “Head-to-Tail with Tim Love” at the Austin Food & Wine Festival, where we were grilling with hundreds of people, all with their own grills. Tim demonstrated recipes for the head, I did the tail and along the way we gave folks a nice primer about grilling parts of the animal they’re probably not accustomed to. The sweet, savory and spicy Latin American flavors in this recipe are perfect for oxtails.

Oxtail Picadillo



  • 5 pounds oxtails
  • 2 quarts fresh beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved
  • Bouquet sachet of parsley, 3 long slices of fresh ginger and 3 whole dried arbol chiles


  • 1 pound pulled oxtail meat, discard the bones and cartilage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1 Poblano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup minced onions
  • 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons minced chipotles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup oxtail stock (the reserved liquid the tails were cooked in)
  • Lime wedges and cilantro, for serving


Cook the Oxtails

Place the oil in a large Dutch oven over indirect high heat on the grill, and brown the oxtails in batches.

Reserve to a platter, do not scorch the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetables and sachet, and sauté until onions are glassy and beginning to caramelize. Add the tomato, cook for 4 minutes or so.

Add the beer and reduce by half at a simmer. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, then add the oxtails back to the pot.

Cover and move pot to edge of the grill so that you can maintain a whisper of a simmer.

Cook for 2 hours. Reserve pot to a side table, crack lid, discard sachet and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove meat from pot with slotted spoon. Pull the meat off the bone, discard the bones and cartilage. Set aside. The broth will be used to make the picadillo.

Make the Picadillo

Place a 14-inch heavy cast-iron pan on the grill, add the oil.

When aromatic, add the pulled ox tail meat and sauté until browned and crisped, adding the onions, garlic, chiles and dry spices.

Sauté until onions are glassy. Add the tomatoes and stock. Simmer the picadillo until liquids have evaporated, then add the capers, raisins and almonds. Cook for about 2 minutes more and season with salt. Add the lime juice as you pull the picadillo from the heat.

To Serve

Serve hot with corn or flour tortillas (or in lettuce cups, or over rice, or over orzo), lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

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