We knew of the Spanish fascination with bulls well enough to discuss whether or not we wanted to see a bullfight (our decision: not). But we did not think its tail would play an important role in the cuisine. After a long day of walking about Madrid we settled down for a sundowner: The Family with a Sangria and a Tio Pepe for me. After a few sips, and some nibbling at the large plate of croquettes and olives which came free with the drinks, we thought we needed a little more to munch.
The lady who served us suggested a plate of little pies made of Rabo de Toro. What is it? She explained that when you cut the tail off a bull, you can remove the meat and cook it. "What happens to the bull?" one of my nieces asked on Whatsapp. We were not worried about these little details. We ordered a plate. That’s what you see in the featured photo. The red is grilled chili, and the brown sauce is the house speciality. Considering that the house is more than a century old, I had no hesitation in dunking my pastry in the sauce. The filled pastries were brilliant, as was the sauce.
We had lucked on to a wonderful place. Although it is at the edge of the tourist area of Madrid, the food and the drinks were good, and the servings were generous. This was our first encounter with the notion of a free tapa with drinks, something that we encountered again later. Perhaps we should have sat there for dinner, but our Indian habits are not far from the Spanish style of eating late. We finished our nibbles and drinks and wandered off.
I encountered Rabo de Toro as a stew later on, and was impressed again. My advise to you, young niece, is not to look a gift horse in the mouth.