Oxtail and Guajillo Chile Stew (Caldo de Res)

  • Serves

    serves 8


Infused with smoky guajillo chiles, this nourishing, slow-cooked stew can be made made with various tough cuts of beef, but we found oxtails to be the most flavorful choice. Served with rice, this dish is a favorite meal across Mexico.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 1 12 lb. beef oxtails, cut into 2″ lengths
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
  • 1 plum tomato, cored and quartered
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving


Step 1

Bring oxtails, 2 cloves garlic, 1 quarter of onion, and 6 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat, and season with salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until beef is tender, about 2 hours. Using tongs, transfer oxtails to a bowl and set aside. Pour cooking liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl and discard solids; set cooking liquid aside.

Step 2

Meanwhile, place chiles in a bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water; let sit until soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer chiles and soaking liquid along with remaining garlic and onion and tomato to a blender; purée until smooth, at least 2 minutes. Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, and set chile purée aside.

Step 3

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chile purée, and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Stir in cooking liquid, and then return oxtails to pan along with potatoes and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with rice and lime wedges.

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