Saturday, March 12, 2011

Oxtail Soup with Root Vegetables

Oxtail is a reference to the skinned tail of a cow, cut into short lengths. 
It is fatty, bony, gelatinous, quite meaty and great in soup and stew. 
Judy had recently made some oxtail soup which was awesome, 
crockpotting the oxtail for three hours 
until it just fell of the bone. 
I decided to make some oxtail as the base of my soup, and add to it many different kinds of root vegetables. I ventured into it without a recipe which was a mistake. First, I decided to grill the oxtail 
and then finish it off boiling it with the soup. Not a good choice. The oxtail Judy made  was much more tender, pulled off the bone without a problem, and as a result, provided more meat. I put in a number of Peruvian purple potatoes, 
a kohrabi, 
a fennel, 
2 parsnips, 
1/2 a celeriac or celery root, 
a turnip, 
3 or 4 Jersey shallots, 
a number of carrots, 
3 grilled poblano peppers, 
2 extra large beef bullion cubes, about 25 ounces of chicken broth, some rosemary, thyme, granulated garlic, red chili pepper, sage and basil. Below, the pot with uncooked vegetables. 
Then the pot with cooked vegetables and added spices.
I would have liked the soup to be thicker. Judy suggested that I should have put some flour on the oxtails. I also boiled it too long. Most of the vegetables boiled so long that they had little texture, they just fell apart in my mouth. In that condition, it was difficult to tell the difference between the turnip, the parsnips, the celery root, etc. which was the very reason I wanted to make the soup. I think the idea was good and I may try it again, but the soup needs more body and the vegetables need to cook less. 

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