Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oxtail Soup

One day in August, SP stopped at Sunny Bridge in McMurray. Upon returning home, he proudly showed me his purchase: oxtails.
I was mystified. I've never, to my knowledge, eaten oxtail. I've definitely never purchased or cooked oxtail. I've never asked for oxtail. SP was excited - beef! Happy beef! Inexpensive happy beef! I felt bad not sharing his enthusiasm, but really, I wondered just what the heck we were going to do with this oxtail and just what the heck inspired him to purchase it. The oxtail went into the freezer.
August turned into September. The garden was starting to wither away. SP went out one day and pulled our carrots. Aren't they cute, little stubby carrots? They have a very mild carrot flavor and the skin is much thinner than the grocery store carrots we buy.
The September weather was turning a bit cooler and I was starting to crave warm and comforting meals. Easy meals. Crock pot meals. Like soup. SP pounced on my soup suggestion: Oxtail Soup. That's what he was going to make and I would love it (so he said). We could use the garden carrots, the leftover celery and onion and potatoes, and the oxtail.
Basically this is a beef vegetable soup. SP seared the oxtail in a skillet before putting it on the bottom of the crock pot and adding the other ingredients. It smelled really good after the searing. It smelled even better as it simmered all day. And it tasted really, really good. The oxtail added a nice, extra layer of flavor to our usual vegetable soup. It was moist and flavorful, easily shredded into small bites. There were lots of veggies in our soup. This time we used red potatoes, usually we use regular russet potatoes, but after this soup I will never again use those boring, hard russets in soup. The red potatoes cooked into soft, creamy, delicious bites - so creamy and melt-in-your-mouth good. After the oxtail and red potato additions, I'm not sure I'll be able to go back to regular vegetable soup!
Our recipe:

1.5~2 lbs oxtail (we bought Logan Family Farms oxtail at Sunny Bridge)
2 small cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup beef broth
4 carrots, sliced
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
4 medium red potatoes, peeled, cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 bag frozen green beans
1 tsp Worcestershire

Sear the oxtail in a skillet. Place it in the bottom of 5 quart crock pot. Add the tomatoes and juice, beef broth, carrots, celery, onion, and Worcestershire. Fill crock pot with water up to about the 4 quart mark. Cook on high for 2 hours, then turn to low and cook another 6 hours. After about 5 hours, add the potatoes. After about 6.5 hours add green beans. After about 7 hours add peas. The times are estimates, just don't add the frozen green beans and peas too early or else they might get too mushy. Before serving, remove the oxtail from the crock pot and cut/pull the meat into small bites, then return the meat to the crock pot.


  1. Add a can of tomato sauce and cut back on the water makes it a really great stew.

  2. So your cook time is about 8 HRS, correct?