Cocina en Origen in Ronda: beauty, passion and emotion

Very few destinations bring together so much beauty, culture and history as Ronda. Declared an Historic and Artistic Conservation Area over 50 years ago, the town is not only architecturally attractive, but it is also home to a rich gastronomic heritage that you will enjoy discovering. With Samuel Perea and the series ‘Cocina en Origen’ (meaning “Cookery at its Origin”), we are going to travel to Ronda to explore its streets, landscapes, culture and origins, and learn how to cook a famous dish - rabo de toro or bull tail stew - using a very unusual pot known as an olla ferroviaria. 

Setting about listing all the extensive natural, cultural, architectural and artistic heritage in Ronda is no mean feat. Though if something persists in the collective imagination as the most iconic image of the town, it would be the Tajo (or gorge) and Puente Nuevo, the 18th century bridge that crosses it. The 100m bridge with its large arches paired with the traditional houses that hang precipitously into the void are the most famous picture postcard of the town. 


Rabo de toro a la rondeña cooked in an olla ferroviaria

Ronda is considered one of the birthplaces of modern bullfighting, which came about in the 18th century. At the time, the cavalry tradition was strong, bolstered by an organisation dedicated to keeping the equestrian art alive. The Neoclassical bullring is one of the oldest and most beautiful in Spain. If you’re looking to taste the best food in Ronda, Spain, it won’t take you long to realise that rabo de toro is one of its most traditional dishes. The recipe dates back a couple of centuries and is connected to the town’s passion for bullfighting. Once the bullfight was over and the bull was killed, a number of specialist butchers would sell the meat of the animal, which would later be enjoyed by a privileged few. 

In ‘Cocina en Origen’, Samuel Perea prepares this traditional dish in Ronda with chef Miguel Herrera, the creator of Rustic Experience Andalucía, which has transformed his love for traditional cuisine and locally sourced produce into a unique experience.

Eating out in Ronda rabo de toro



The night before preparing the stew, marinate the bull tail with some rosemary, peppermint, thyme, a bay leaf, ground cumin, curry powder, salt, black pepper and sweet paprika and cover in a good red wine (in the programme, they use a bottle from Descalzos Viejos winery in Ronda). The next day, the mixture will be ready for cooking in an olla ferroviaria, a special type of pot with two parts: a metallic recipient where you make a fire and another, which sits on top, used for cooking. 

Eating out in Ronda rabo de toro


As the fire settles for cooking, prepare the ingredients. Slice the garlic, green pepper and red pepper, peel the potatoes, chop the red onion, tomatoes and carrot, and when the fire is ready, add a good slug of extra virgin olive oil to the pot. In the programme, once again, they opt for a local oil, specifically that from LA Organic, located just 3km from Ronda and where you can enjoy an incredible day out learning about how olive oil is made. 

When the olive oil has heated a little, add the pieces of bull tail and seal. Add the garlic, peppers, onion, carrot and tomato and fry together for a little while, stirring from time to time. Then put in the potatoes and keep stirring. After a couple of minutes, pour in the liquid that you used to marinate the meat in the night before and let it all cook over a low heat for about an hour (or until the meat is tender).

Eating out in Ronda rabo de toro a la rondeña


Now all the remains to do is serve up this delicious traditional dish from the impressive town of Ronda and sit down to savour it with your loved ones. If you decide to take home a slice of the town of the Tajo to prepare the recipe for yourself, make sure you watch the series to find out all the details about the recipe. Buen provecho! 

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