Oxtail soup is made from the tails of cows. Probably not the best thing to serve when you have vegetarians over for dinner.
But on a cold winter night, there is nothing better than oxtail soup. It's delicious and very nourishing. It's also a very economical meal.
And of course, we're using oxtails from grass-fed cows, so it's much more nutritious.
This recipe is GAPS legal.
If you like, you can add some soaked and steamed brown rice or barley when serving. You can also top with sauerkraut and sour cream for added probiotics, nutrition and flavor.
You can use chicken stock if you don't have beef stock on hand.
If you don't want to include any alcohol, you can omit the wine and the sherry. You can also substitute port wine for the sherry.
Don't forget to save the oxtail bones for another batch of stock. Beef bones can be simmered for 24-36 hours for stock. Since we're only simmering for 4 hours, they can be reused for another batch of beef stock.
Grass Fed Oxtail Soup
Pastured butter, lard, or tallow or expeller pressed coconut oil (2 TBS) — where to buy butter and where to buy coconut oil
Oxtails, grass-fed (6 lbs)
Onion, yellow or white, large (1)
Red wine, dry (1/2 cup)
Beef stock, preferably homemade (2 quarts) — how to make beef stock
Dry sherry (2 1/2 TBS)
Carrot, large (1)
Celery stalk, large (1)
Black pepper, freshly ground — where to buy black pepper
Optional: Parsley leaves, fresh (2 TBS)
1. Heat one tablespoon of the butter, tallow or lard in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
2. Peel the onion and cut in half.
3. Brown the oxtails and onion halves on all sides in three or four batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Add additional fat to the pan when necessary. It should take about 15 to 20 minutes to brown all the oxtails. Set the browned oxtails and onion aside on a platter.
4. Add the red wine to the empty pot. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits and cook down the wine until it reduces to a syrup, about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Return the browned oxtails and onion to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat the meat and onion until they have released their juices, about 20 minutes.
6. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer. Skim any foam that rises to the top, and reduce the heat to low.
7. Partially cover and simmer gently, until the meat on the oxtails is tender, about 4 hours.
8. Strain the stock and set the oxtails aside to cool. Pull the meat away from the bones. Discard the bits of fat, gristle, and bones. Shred the meat. Don't forget to save the oxtail bones for another batch of broth (see recipes notes).
9. Bring the stock back to a simmer. Add the reserved meat and dry sherry.
10. Peel the carrot and rinse the celery stalk. Finely dice the carrot and celery. Add to the pot.
11. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
12. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
13. Chop the parsley (optional).
14. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each bowl with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Photo Credit: Oxtail by FotoosVanRobin, on Flickr