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Wednesday, 20 March 2013


I was having a thrifty moment when I thought of making this old fashioned soup. The oxtail was on offer at half the usual price, so I tucked it away in the freezer until I was ready to cook. It's such a simple - and satisfying - soup to make, I wonder why I've never made it before? Most recipes refer to this tough cut of meat as 'cheap', but at around the same price as shin or skirt beef (£6 per kg), I think it's a little expensive. Hence my swift take-up of the half price offer.

Ingredients to serve 4
1.5kg of oxtail
a few sprigs of thyme (use tsp of dried if necessary)
large tablespoon tomato puree
one onion - chopped
one celery stalk - chopped
one carrot - chopped
8-10 black peppercorns
1 piece of star anise
300ml red wine (if you have any)
enough beef/chicken stock to cover meat
plain flour to thicken (if you like)
Dust the pieces of oxtail in the flour and brown. Add the chopped vegetables to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes. Then, place all the ingredients into a large saucepan and simmer until the meat is soft - approx 3 hours. We used the slow cooker and left this to cook overnight.
Remove the meat and set aside to cool. Strain the stock through a sieve and press down on the vegetables to squeeze out the wonderful juices. I put this liquid into the fridge to cool and let the fat rise to the top, you can then lift it out in one go. Don't throw the fat away - store it in the fridge until you are ready to make roast potatoes; they will taste devine.
If you want a thick soup add a little flour to the stock, then add back the flaked pieces of meat (discard the bones). Heat and enjoy!
If you time this right, you can cook it overnight, cool it while you're at work, then return to complete the final stage.
Now, I'm not too sure of the calories in this. When that happens, I don't worry too much and remind myself it's only soup. Soup without cream too. Throughout our journey we haven't been too scrupulous about the number of calories in our food for items such as soup. As I've removed almost all of the unnecessary fat (visible to me) I would estimate a large portion to be around 350-400 calories (at most). But it is very filling, and you may find a small bowlful sufficient as it's also very rich.
Here's the QR code for the ingredients (text format) - let me know if this works and if you would prefer the URL format.
QR Code generator

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