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Oxtail Soup

Introduction & method

Oxtail soup is an intensely meaty, fairly smooth soup. Served with some crunchy bread, it's a delicious winter warmer that brings back (for me at least) memories of childhood.

Oxtail Soup Recipe

Brown the Oxtail

I've never seen oxtail on sale that wasn't already cut into segments. Coat the segments in plain flour and quickly brown them all over in hot oil/fat. Decide on your cooking method. You can do it in a conventional pot on the stovetop, in which case the meat will need to cook for 3½ hours. Or use a slow cooker/stockpot and cook overnight or 8-10 hours. Or use a pressure cooker/instant pot and cook the meat under pressure for 30 minutes.

Start Cooking

Place the browned oxtail in the cooking vessel of your choice and cover with water. Bring it to the boil. When the water is boiling, you might get some scum on it - skim this off if you do.

Prep the Veggies

Peel and finely chop the onion, carrot and celery and add them to the pot along with the finely chopped parsley, bay leaves, yeast extract and tomato purée. Now cook it for the times shown above depending on what method you're using.

Blend and Finish the Soup

At the end of cooking, the meat should be falling off the bone. Remove the pieces of oxtail and put them in a bowl. If you can find the bay leaves, take those out too. Using an immersion blender / stick blender, whizz the veggies until they turn to mush. If you feel any bits of bone in the soup, try to fish them out with a perforated spoon. Using 2 forks or your fingertips, pull the meat from the bones. Add it back into the soup in a big pot, and heat the soup. I found that my first attempt at this was a fairly pale brown, whereas the oxtail I remember was a very dark colour. I got some gravy browning (a liquid version made by Sarson's) and added a teaspoon to the soup. It darkened the colour immediately. Now taste the soup, you might want to add soy sauce, or Worcester sauce, or even balsamic vinegar to give it a little bit of sharpness.

Serve with crusty bread and butter.


The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Oxtail Soup on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 500 grams ox tail
 1 medium onion
 2 carrots
 2 celery sticks
 2 tsp yeast extract
 1 tbsp tomato puree
 2 bay leaves
 small handful fresh parsley
 1 tsp gravy browning


Plenty of water. Salt and pepper to taste. Oil or fat for sautéeing.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4- 6 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes.
Total time: 3 hours 45 minutes.