Oxtail Soup Cooked Over an Open Fire

Final weekend approached us very quickly and we cooked up several dishes.  All unique and very tasty.  People were surprised at the variety of ingredients we used.  This recipe is the first of four recipes we did this past weekend.  I will post each recipe separately. 


Oxtail Soup

Oxtail dishes are found across cultures.  From Northern Europe, across the British Isles, Ottoman Empire, Mediterranean, Arabic, and Far Eastern cultures have all used oxtail in a variety of dishes.  Some dishes were primarily delicacies, but secondarily offered homeopathic cures to various ailments including back and hip pain.

 The Chinese added shredded cabbage mushrooms, and carrots, among other vegetables to provide a heart stew.  Arabic and Mediterranean cultures added tomatoes and chickpeas, while European cultures, including Italy even added wine or brandy to the dish during the post-Restoration period. 

Oxtails were once inexpensive, but with their increased use in many cuisines, the price of oxtails has become expensive.  Asian grocery stores offer oxtails at about a third of the cost of main stream grocery stores. 

Oxtail Soup, made at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival 10/02/11

This is a favorite among my male friends as oxtails, when cooked properly, can take on a prime rib flavor and texture.  This particular dish, was cooked over an open fire in a cast iron Dutch oven. 

3 lbs of oxtails
1 lbs of beef shoulder soup bones.
2 lbs red potatoes, thinly sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and shredded
1 lbs of leeks, cut into rings
3 sprigs of rosemary
1/4 cup of butter or oil
2 lbs carrots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can of tomato paste (optional)
Kosher or sea salt
Black pepper

Begin preparing the dish by adding the beef shoulder bones in a large pot with enough water to cover the bones and add 1 tsp of sea or kosher salt.  Bring items to a boil for a half an hour.  Remove and dispose of the bones and reserve the broth. 

Heat oil or melt butter in a different soup pot.  Once heated, add the oxtails to brown and slowly add the leeks and garlic; continuing to cook. Once browned, add enough of the new broth to cover the cover the oxtails by an additional 3 inches, water may be added to increase the amount of liquid.  At this moment, one may add optional tomato paste.  Let cook for 1 hour and stir occasionally.  After an hour, remove the soup bones, but leave in the oxtails.  Begin adding the potatoes, carrots and rosemary.  Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.  

This dish is very rich and if one’s constitution prefers a less rich version, one may choose to put the soup in a cooler and remove the excess fat from the top before reheating.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.  

Serves 6-8.

About anj68

Alice uses cast iron pots and wooden utensils and keeps the recipes as close to the traditional recipe as possible. She even utilizes a fire pit located outside her home to test authentic recipes. For more information about Alice the Cook, visit her website at http://www.alicethecook.com In future blogs, I will offer recipes, kitchen hints, and historical cooking lessons.
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2 Responses to Oxtail Soup Cooked Over an Open Fire

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