I can’t think of a better cold-weather dish than a good, hearty oxtail soup recipe. The idea of eating oxtail might put some people off, which is a shame. The cow’s tail is full of bone and connective tissue, which provides that lovely signature oxtail soup flavor as the dish is cooked slowly over a few hours. The longer you cook it, the more tender the little bits of meat become, until they’re spoon-scoopable without a hint of resistance.
This is a bit of a departure from the traditional oxtail soup recipe. I’ve thrown in a few spices that might cause purists to raise an eyebrow, but really, this soup is a superbly warming main dish that will chase away any hint of damp winter chill. Coriander, cardamom and cumin lend their signature spiciness to balance out the beefy goodness, while a touch of cinnamon provides a gently sweet undertone that will remind you it’s almost time for the holidays. I’m actually smiling just thinking about it!
This recipe can be prepared in either a Dutch oven or a slow cooker. Regardless of which you use, you’ll be cooking this stew for about 8 hours.
A few notes: when you buy your oxtail, make sure to have your butcher cut it into 1″ segments. You don’t often find oxtail in one long piece, but I’ve seen it enough times to make this point worth mentioning. And, this soup freezes really well, so I recommend doubling the recipe and then freezing a good portion for those last-minute meals when you want something hearty but don’t have 8 + hours to simmer something on the stove.
Also, this is a nice, thick soup, verging on a stew, so have fun with it! The sizes of your vegetables don’t need to be perfect, as long as they’re big, hearty chunks.
Do you have a favorite oxtail recipe? Share it in the comments and let me know what you love about it.
- 2 pounds oxtail, cut into 1″ segments
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 2″ knob of ginger, peeled and diced
- One 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 carrot, cut into 1″ rounds
- 1 parsnip, cut into roughly 1″ rounds
- 5 small red potatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 yam, cut into roughly 1″ cubes
- 1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
- One 14-ounce can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
- If you’re preparing this recipe in a Dutch oven, preheat your oven to 200°F (93°C). If you’re using a slow cooker, get it ready by plugging it in and setting it to its lowest setting.
- Brown the oxtail in a very hot pan. Remove to a large Dutch oven or slow cooker.
- Add the olive oil to the pan you browned the oxtail in and turn the heat to medium. Once the oil shimmers, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrape along the bottom and get up all the meaty bits that stuck to the pan while you were browning the meat. Cook the onions just until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir the garlic and ginger into the onions and cook for another minute, until the garlic and ginger become extremely fragrant. Pour onions, ginger and garlic into Dutch oven on top of the oxtail.
- Pour the can of tomatoes into the same pan you cooked the onions in again scrap the bottom to get up anything stuck to the pan. Add coriander, cardamom, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper, stirring well. Cook tomatoes over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, just until it begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.
- Add beef stock to tomatoes and continue to cook until it comes to a simmer. While you’re waiting for the tomatoes and beef stock to heat up, add the carrot, parsnip, potatoes, yam, apple and kidney beans to the Dutch oven or slow cooker and mix well with the oxtail and onions.
- Once the tomatoes and stock are at a simmer, add them to the Dutch oven or slow cooker. Give the whole thing a good stir to make sure the sauce covers everything, cover with a lid, and set to cook. For a Dutch oven, place it in your 200°F (93°C) oven and let cook undisturbed for 8 hours. If you’re using a slow cooker, turn it to the “LOW” setting and let cook for 8 hours.
- Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley. I serve my oxtail soup with the bones in because I’m too lady to pick them apart before serving – plus I think the bones add to the rustic feel of the dish. If you’re so inclined, feel free to pick out the bones before serving.
If you like this oxtail recipe, check out these others:
- A handful of great meat recipes beloved by Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook
- Oxtail Adobo Recipe
- Chinese Braised Oxtail Stew Recipe
- Oxtail Recipe – Braised Oxtail in Sherry & Oxtail Ravioli in Leek-Mushroom Broth