Oxtail Soup My Way

A hearty winter meal in a bowl

Oxtail is a rather inexpensive cut available on occasion at most butchers. Traditionally, it is used as a base for a clear broth served in the English tradition as a first course. I prefer to use it for a hearty soup that is a full meal in one bowl, delicious and nutritious for those cold winter nights.

Place one oxtail cut into pieces into a large stock pan and cover in cold water, using no less than four liters (quarts). Add some coarse salt, black peppercorns, a few bay leaves, a few cloves, and a whole onion. Bring to boil and simmer for no less than three hours on low heat. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes. At this point, the oxtail meat should be fork-tender. Remove and discard the onion, take out the tail pieces and scrape off the meat, which you then return to the broth. Add three large winter carrots peeled and diced and half a cup of white rice. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Bring back to boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes or until both the carrots and the rice are fully cooked. Serve with crusty bread such as pain de campagne.

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