Depth of flavour and goodness like no other soup
PREP TIME: 15 mins
COOKING TIME: 7 hours – what?!! don’t panic, it’s not hands-on for 7hrs but this is a slow-cook and you should start the day before you want to eat it. Let those flavours enhance and gel together more.
IDEAL FOR: midweek meal, side
Okay, I know this may seem a little over-the-top asking busy people to make a soup over 2 days.
But hey, most of you are in a lockdown.
And it’s cold and gloomy.
So why not use some of this time to get something new on the go.
I’m telling you, you won’t be disappointed.
And it’s not 2 days of slaving over the stovetop.
Day 1 is a quick prep then around 6 – 7 hrs of slow cooking, checking in on it every 3 hrs.
Day 2. That’s just re-heating it and making the spaetzle.
What is oxtail?
It’s a fair question.
I didn’t know much about oxtail.
Unless it was mentioned in conversation and those that knew it would go on about the flavours.
It’s one of those cuts that has been used forever when no part of the animal went to waste.
And it used to be cheap so it was an affordable way to make a meal.
But butchers and chefs have educated us more these days about cheaper cuts.
So, they are no longer the cheap cuts they once were.
Oxtail, as it says in the name, is the tail used to be from oxen.
But nowadays, it’s from the tail of beef or veal.
The way it’s cut means that there are varying sizes as the tail narrows towards the end.
What’s all the fuss about?
It’s full of gelatin-rich meat due to a large amount of collagen and in the middle is the marrow.
Which is why it’s perfect for slow-cooked stews and soups.
You gain so much depth of flavour.
There isn’t a massive amount of meat on it but it will fall away into your sauce or broth becomes a hearty-winter-warmer.
Spaetzle is a German egg noodle pasta with a chewy, dumpling-like texture.
It’s made from a super simple batter of eggs mixed with flour and milk or water.
Then it’s pushed through a colander to make little strands.
It’s perfect for adding to stews to soak up the lovely flavourful liquid.
Great as a base in a casserole or added to a broth like this oxtail soup.
It adds a bit of bulk to make an even heartier meal.
I have to say, I’m now a full oxtail convert.
So stay posted for other oxtail recipes I’m going to post.
It’s all about low n’ slow and letting the oxtail work it’s umptious magic.
Let me know what you think of oxtail or any recipes you love to use it with.
Oxtail soup with spaetzle
- Dutch oven, casserole dish or stockpot
- 910 kg oxtail
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 litre chicken stock (good quality)
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- thyme, chopped to garnish the soup for serving
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp butter
Day 1: Slow cooking the oxtail and broth
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 C / 350 F
- Season the oxtail with salt and pepper and place in the casserole dish with 2 cups of water and roast for 3 hrs
- Then, take out of the oven and place on a hob. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, the onion, carrots, chicken stock and cover everythinng with water (approx 1 litre)Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for another 3 hrs (or until the meat is tender)
- Once down, remove the oxtail from the casserole dish and take the meat off the bones (discard the bones)
- In the casserole dish, add the celery and the oxtail meat Season with salt and pepper and simmer for another hour
- Leave to cool and pop in the fridge overnight
Day 2 – Making the spaetzle and serving the oxtail soup
- In a large pot, bring 3 litres of salted water to a simmer
- Mix the egg yolks and flour together with 1/4 cup water and mix in 1/2 tsp of salt until you get a reasonably thick batter
- To make the shape of spaetzle, you use a colander and push the batter through the holes – you may need another person to help or have a pot that the colander can easily sit on. above the waterSo, with the colander above the simmering water, pour the batter into the colander and push the batter through the holes with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. They should come out about 2 cms long and will only take about 3 – 5 mins to cookTaste one to check its doneness.Remove with a slotted spoon, toss in some butter and add to the oxtail broth.
- Serve with a srnkle of chopped thyme