Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.
Oxtail soup is a name that some people believe to be a misnomer. There are people who are under the impression that it is not really made from ox/cow's tail and that this is simply an interesting name someone once gave to the dish.
The bottom line, however, is that oxtail soup is made from the tails of cows or other beef animals, but it is absolutely delicious. So please don't let the idea of eating this part of the animal discourage you from giving it a try. This recipe includes red wine to give extra body to the soup and a simple roux to help thicken it in the final stage of the process.
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Serves four to six people
- 3/4 pound ox tail pieces
- 1 medium parsnip, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, 1 roughly chopped, 1 grated
- 1/2 small Swede turnip/rutabaga, roughly chopped
- 1 small leek (stem only), thickly sliced
- 6 pints fresh beef stock
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ounce plain/all purpose flour
- 1 ounce butter
- 2 medium glasses red wine, (one for the soup and one for the cook)
- Additional seasoning as required
- Freshly chopped chives to garnish
- Add a little vegetable or olive oil to a large soup pot and brown the oxtail pieces all over. Add the chopped vegetables, peppercorns, salt and beef stock and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer for two and a half hours or until the liquid in the pot has been reduced by about half.
- Turn the heat off under the pot. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the meat pieces. Sit them in a bowl and cover. Put the lid on the pot and leave both to cool for half an hour.
- Remove the vegetables from the soup and strain through a sieve lined with kitchen paper to remove the smaller solids and most of the fat. Carefully pick the meat from the oxtail bones, discarding as much of the fat as possible.
- Combine the sieved stock and red wine and put on to the heat to reach a simmer. Gently melt the butter in a large soup pot before stirring in the flour and cook over a low heat for two to three minutes, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. Add the heated stock and wine in stages and bring to a simmer before adding the grated carrot and beef. Simmer for ten minutes to ensure everything is fully heated through. Be sure to check if additional seasoning is required.
- Ladle the soup in to serving bowls, garnish with the chopped chives and serve with pieces of fresh, crusty bread.