Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce

  • July 26, 2015



Active Time

1 hour

Total Time

2.5 hours

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Download the Recipe
  • Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce
  • Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce
  • Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce
Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce

Introducing Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce: the slow-cooked sensation you never knew you needed in your life. Sure, there are a bunch of strange and exotic-sounding words in the recipe name alone, but the flavor will be so comforting and familiar to you when you eat it that you will quickly forget the time when you didn’t know and love this dish. Step outside of your comfort zone today and you will be duly rewarded!


For the Oxtail & Fillings
  • 3 lbs oxtail
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon parika
  • Crumbled queso blanco
  • Slices of avocado
  • For the Arepas
  • 2 cups masarepa flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Butter for pan frying
  • For the Guasacaca Sauce
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • The juice of a lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin


1. To make the Oxtail Arepas, we will begin by making the oxtail filling. Preheat a large cast iron skillet, or other large skillet with deep sides, over high heat, add a little bit of oil, and sear the oxtail in batches. Make sure to season each side of the oxtail with salt (no pepper yet as it will burn while you are searing the meat). Depending on how large your skillet is, this may take two or three batches. Cook the oxtail about 2 to 3 minutes per side until each side has a nice sear on it. Set the seared pieces aside on a plate to be used later.

2. While the oxtail is searing, you can multi-task by cutting the white onion into small cubes and roughly mincing two cloves of garlic. Once all of the oxtail is seared and set aside, add the onion to the pan and cook for 3 for 4 until the onion has taken on a nice brown color. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, cumin and paprika. Allow to cook for one minute and stir constantly to prevent the garlic and spices from burning.

3. Once the onions and garlic are softened, add the beef stock and deglaze the pan, scraping up as much of the brown bits, or fond, as you can so that they will dissolve and lend deeper flavor to the braising liquid. Add a couple of cracks of black pepper and increase the heat to high. Allow the liquid to come to a slight boil.

4. When the liquid is approaching a boil, add the seared pieces of oxtail and any accumulated juices, cover the pan and reduce heat to low and allow the oxtail to simmer for one hour. After an hour, flip the oxtail pieces over and simmer for another hour, uncovered, or until the meat is tender and falls off of the bone in the center of each piece and the liquid has reduced.

5. While the oxtail is simmering, we will have time to prepare the Guasacaca sauce. Begin by thoroughly rinsing the cilantro and tearing the leaves from the stems. Set aside on a paper towel to drain while you break down the vegetables. The general plan of attack here is to cut the avocado, peppers, onion and garlic into smaller pieces to make them easier to puree in the food processor. You do not need to worry about producing pretty or uniform pieces, you’re simply giving your ol’ pal, the food processor, a head start. Once you have all of the veggies and cilantro in the workbowl, add the mayo, lime juice, vinegar and spices and pulse a few times to get things moving. Puree until the sauce is uniform in color and consistency (should be something like a thick yogurt, for reference) and pour into a sealable container. Set aside in the fridge to allow the flavors to come together while the oxtail finishes cooking.

6. Depending on how thick your oxtail is, they could be done after two hours of simmering, but chances are they will need another 20 or so minutes. You are looking for the meat to easily fall off of the bone in the center and be tender enough to be cut with a fork. When the meat is tender, remove the bones from each piece and discard. Pull the remaining meat apart so that it mixes with the braising liquid and onions and looks like a uniform, meaty filling. If the filling looks a little loose and watery, allow it to simmer uncovered for a few minutes more to let the liquid reduce. When the meat is prepared, cover to keep warm while you make the arepas.

7. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, salt and spices and stir to incorporate. Adding a little bit at a time, mix in the masarepa flour gradually while stirring to prevent any large clumps from forming. The dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes while the dough fully hydrates.

8. Dump the dough out onto a large cutting board or clean work surface and knead a few times to fully mix the dough. Cut into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Using your palm, press down on each ball and to form discs. Each disc should be about ¼ – ½ inch thick about 4 to 6 inches wide. Melt a tablespoon or two of butter in a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-low heat (say about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10) and cook the arepas for around 7 minutes per side. You will need to do this in two batches. The arepas should be a deep golden brown on each side. By cooking them over medium-low heat, you are allowing the arepa to develop a sturdy and crispy crust, making it a perfect vessel for our juicy filling. When you become more familiar with this dish, you can easily do this step during the final 30 minutes of the oxtail braise so that they finish at the same time.

9. When the arepas are done, set them aside on a plate and quickly cut some slices of avocado while the arepas cool. You don’t want to cut the avocado any earlier because they oxidize quickly and turn brown. Once the avocado is cut, the arepas should be cool enough to touch. It is traditional to make a slit at one end of each arepa and work your finger into the center of it to make room for the filling, basically turning the arepa into a “pocket.” You can also cut them entirely in half and eat like a sandwich. It is ultimately up to you. Either way, put a few slices of avocado on the bottom of each arepa and then distribute the oxtail mixture equally among them. Top with a little bit of crumbled queso blanco and guasacaca sauce. Serve immediately.

No Replies to "Oxtail Arepas with Guasacaca Sauce"