I made this yesterday and man it was tasty. A lot of recipes for oxtail soup on the net seems way overcomplex. To me, this should be a rustic dish, easy and reasonably cheap, so I made this one up and it seems to have worked well. The kind of flavours I went for are the kind that go well with steak - fresh pepper onions and mustard.
- a slow cooker
- about 1kg oxtails, chopped
- 1 onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 bunch of celery
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 6 teaspoons peppercorns
- 5 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons onion seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- about 100 ml dry red vin de table, to deglaze
- some vegetable oil
- thyme. If you have fresh, use it. I used about 3 teaspoons.
- a teaspoon of cornflour in a little cold water, to thicken
Brown, but don't burn, your onions & garlic in a frying pan with a little oil. Transfer into the slow-cooker pot. Get together your oxtails. The butcher chopped mine like this:
Fry them in the pan with a little veg oil. You want to burn them a little, more flavour that way, like this:
Transfer into the slow-cooker. De-glaze the frying pan with some wine, add the liquid to the slow-cooker. Chop and add the celery and carrots to it too.
Now, get together your spices, grind them to a fine powder in your spice grinder, throw into the mixture:
Chop up the thyme, add to mixture, add 2 teaspoons salt, make up to near the top of the slow-cooker with tap water. Stir to mix it all up:
Leave it cooking for about 6 hrs in total, or overnight. I initially put the slow-cooker on high, it was there for about 1 1/2 hrs when it started to boil, put it on low thereafter. If you're leaving it overnight, it would be sufficient to just start it on low and leave it there.
When slow-cooker time has elapsed, get together a colander, put it into a large pan. Pour the contents of the slow-cooker through it, allow to drain and cool a bit. Pick out the meaty oxtails, and any meat that has fallen off, and put to one side. Throw out the vegetables that remain in the colander because they are now exhausted. Whilst the bones cool, chop up one carrot, a couple of celery sticks and a potato. Add to the pan that now has the soup in, and cook gently.
Pull the meat off the cooled bones, it should come off easily. Discard the bones and add the meat to the soup. When the vegetables have become tender, check the soup for salt and consistency, and thicken with a little cornflour solution if you want.
Serve with broken buttered french stick. It should look something like this:
This has a lot of black pepper in it. This treatment transforms its taste and makes it mellow. It doesn't have a lot of fat, at least not with the oxtails I used. Serves 4 with some left over. If you leave it in the pan for a day then re-heat it tastes even better. Total cost was about 5 UKP.