July 4, 2011

Oxtail Soup Recipe.

There is nothing like a good soup on a cold wintery day. This oxtail soup recipe was inspired by my CWA Soups and Stews Cookbook. Now, I have a little confession, I actually modified the CWA oxtail soup recipe considerably to make a version of the soup that I knew The Farmchildren would eat.  I don't normally mess with the CWA but decided to live on the edge, just this once.

Oxtail Soup Recipe

An oxtail seems to be a very old fashioned thing to cook.  I am quite happy to try different cuts of meat, although I did draw the line at the sheep's head broth recipe in the CWA book.  Can you imagine a blog post with a photo of a an uncooked sheep's head???

Anyways - if you want to channel your inner Farm Nanna and action some oxtail magic, then this is the recipe for you.  It is super easy to make but you do need to be a bit prepared and start cooking the day before you plan to eat the soup.

An oxtail is really just a cow tail. I am sure years ago it did come from an ox but, given that oxen are pretty short on the ground in modern Australia, I doubt you could find a real oxtail in many places. (I am also not sure if it would be that tasty.)  Try and get an oxtail which has been pre-cut into segments by the butcher.  Much easier that way.

Oxtail Soup Recipe
Segmented Oxtail


  • 1 oxtail
  • 1 litre of beef stock
  • 1 onion
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 swede
  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • some sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley

OK - the method is easy.  Chop the vegies up (I use a soup pack if I can find a decent looking one) and add them to the pot.

Oxtail Soup Recipe
Chopped Vegies

Pop the oxtail in too and pour the stock over the top. Add everything else except the pearl barley.  Simmer over a slow heat for 2-3 hours.

Oxtail Soup Recipe
Simmer This

When the soup is done, remove the oxtail segments and drain them. Remove the meat from the bones when they have cooled down a little. Pop the meat back in the broth and discard the bones. Then just put the whole lot in the fridge overnight.

The next day,  remove the soup from the fridge about 40 minutes before you wish to eat it.  It should have a layer of solidified fat on the top.  It is really important that you get as much of this fat off the soup as possible, otherwise it will be horribly greasy.  I didn't add a photo of this step because it looked very manky and, given that I have already discussed sheep's heads and shown a photo of an oxtail, I thought I might quit while I was ahead.

Once the fat is gone, bring the soup to a gentle boil.  Then you can add the pearly barley and simmer until it is soft.  Pop the soup in a bowl and serve it.  This makes quite a substantial soup that will easily pass as a main meal.  It would be a great recipe to pre-prepare for a casual winter lunch and serve with some crusty bread and cheese.

So there you go - how's that for some country wholesomeness on a Monday morning?


Joolz said...

The soup looks great. My mum always put pearl barley in her casseroles (probably to plump them out a bit)and whenever I'd ask what was in it, she'd say it was her secret ingredient! I think I was about 18 before I knew it was pearl barley!

Will keep a lookout for some tail next time I shop.... I guess I can assume from this post about manky meat cuts that you won't be doing a post on how to crumb lambs brains etc any time soon?

Cheers - Joolz

Tania said...

Lambs head soup like my mum made for us as kids was my all time favourite. I didn't actually know what was in it though other than tongue. It is a delicious soup. Hubby refuses to eat offal at all so wont be cooking that...big sook!

Your soup looks good, I guess I would have had it growing up. I remember having kangaroo tail soup...Yum! Pearl barley I love and add it to my soups, makes them nice and thick.

I'm So Fancy said...

We happen to love oxtail here at the Fancy Home. Good tip on the fridge/fat removal step!

Naturally Carol said...

My mum used to make this soup too..I didn't like the pearl barley in it then..but I do now. Funny how our tastes change as we grow older! It looks delicious.