Oxtail Soup with Cannellini Beans, Tomato and Vegetables
1kg Oxtail – Ask butcher to portion it into individual serves
1 Large Carrot – Sliced into 2cm cubes
5 Sticks Celery – Cut into 2cm squares
2 Lge Brown Onions Cut into 2cm cubes
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
6 Large Tomatoes – Cut into 2cm cubes
3 Litres of water
250 gr Cannellini Beans – Soaked over night and cooked in water until soft
6 Garlic Cloves – Crushed and finely chopped
- Heat up a frying pan on high heat. Season oxtail with sea salt and black pepper.
- Pour a little oil into the pan and brown the oxtail evenly on all sides. Once all pieces have been browned, set them aside ready for use.
- Using a large pot, heat up some oil and sauté the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
- Add the chopped tomatoes (fresh is best but canned tomatoes are alright). Cook until the tomatoes start to break down slightly.
- Add the water and the oxtail. Take to boil then down to simmer. Simmer until the oxtail almost falls off the bone to touch. Add more hot water if reduced too much. Whilst simmering, skim the scum that floats to the surface (be diligent with this so you get a clean stock in appearance and flavour)
- Check seasoning.
- Serve into bowls and with crunchy baked bread.
To me, there is nothing more satisfying than using a secondary piece of meat like lamb shanks, pork necks, pork hock or in this case, oxtail. The preparation takes hardly anytime and although the cooking time is longer than the average home meal, the wait is well worth it. You get to see how the flavours meld together and you can manipulate the outcome as it cooks, by adding bits and pieces into pot like herbs and spices. Winter is usually the time for these full on, bursting with flavour meals. It’s hearty, rich in flavour and because you are using secondary cuts of meat, its cheap!! You can freeze them into individual serves; make enough and you can hibernate in winter quite comfortably!!
Photo by Jun Pang