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Print this Recipe    Oxtail Soup

Yield: 12 Servings

Unlike traditional French and English recipes, which leave the
sections of oxtail whole in the soup, for this version you take
the meat off the oxtails after they are cooked so the soup is
easier to eat. If you're having a group of friends over who
don't mind reaching into their bowls to gnaw on the bones, just
arrange the whole oxtail sections in each bowl. If 12 servings
are more than you need you can freeze the rest for up to 6
months. This soup has the advantage of being almost fat-free.

Ingredients:

4 pounds oxtail, cut into sections at each vertebra (most
oxtail is already sold this way, or you can have the butcher do
it)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 medium-size onions, sliced
2 medium-size carrots, sliced
1 bouquet garni
3 quarts brown beef broth
1/2 cup port wine or medium-dry sherry, such as amontillado
Salt

For Decorating The Soup:

2 leeks, including 1 inch of green, cut into fine julienne
2 carrots, cut into fine julienne
2 medium-size turnips, peeled and cut into fine julienne
1/4 cup tightly packed Italian parsley leaves

Cooking the Oxtail: Trim any large clumps of fat off the
outside of the oxtail sections. In a saute pan over high heat,
brown the oxtail sections on both sides in half the oil. Take
out the oxtail and throw out the oil left in the bottom of the
pan.

Add the remaining oil to the saute pan and saute the onion and
carrot slices over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the
onions turn limp.

Put the cooked onions and carrots and the bouquet garni in a
6-quart pot. Arrange the oxtail on top. Rinse any caramelized
juices out of the saute pan with a cup of the broth and pour it
over the oxtails with the remaining broth.

Bring the oxtails to a simmer over medium heat. Turn down the
heat to keep the broth at a slow simmer and cover the pot.
Simmer .... either on the stove or in a 300 degree oven for 3
to 4 hours, skimming off froth and fat every 30 minutes, until
the meat pulls easily off the bone. You may need to add water
or additional broth to the pot from time to time to make up for
evaporation.

Finishing and Serving: Pour the oxtails with their broth
through a colander set over another 6-quart pot or bowl.
Spread the oxtails over a sheet pan and let them cool. Discard
the vegetables and bouquet garni.

Strain the broth a second time through a triple layer of
cheesecloth or a clean cloth napkin or towel that has been well
rinsed to eliminate traces of soap. Bring the broth to a slow
simmer in a clean 6-quart pot and skim off any remaining fat or
froth that floats to its surface. Add the port and salt to
taste.

Pull the meat away from the oxtails. Discard the bones and any
remaining pieces of fat or gristle. With your fingers, break
the meat into shreds about 1 inch long and 1/4 inch thick.

Simmer the vegetable julienne in the broth for about 15
minutes, until they have almost completely softened; they
should have just a slight crunch. Put the meat back in the
simmering broth with the vegetables and the parsley leaves.
Ladle into hot bowls and serve.

********** ********** **********


Oxtail and Vegetable Soup (United States)
Yield: About 12 cups
Prep: About 4 hours

4 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
3 pounds oxtail, disjointed
Flour seasoned with salt and pepper

4 cups tomato juice
2 cups water
Strained juice of 1 medium-size lemon
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Reserved ox tail

3 large carrots, scraped and sliced thin
2 medium-size onions, peeled and chopped
3 medium-size potatoes, peeled and diced
Worcestershire sauce
Salt
Pepper

In a heavy flame-proof casserole, heat the bacon fat. Dredge
the oxtail in the seasoned flour and brown it in the hot fat or
oil. Remove it to absorbent paper and reserve it.

To the fat or oil remaining in the casserole, add the tomato juice and
water. Over high heat, deglaze the casserole. Stir in the
seasonings. Add the oxtail. Bring the liquid to the boil,
reduce the heat, and simmer the oxtail, covered, for 2-1/2 hours, or
until the meat is very tender.

Allow the mixture to cool, refrigerate it overnight, and the
following day remove any solidified fat.

Return the soup to the boil, add the carrot, onion, and potato
and simmer them, covered, for 20 minutes, or until they are
tender. Season the soup to taste with Worcestershire sauce,
salt, and pepper.

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