I saw a sale on Oxtails the other day at my local Viet Wah Supermarket and I just had to buy them. I can't remember the last time I made this soup and it is so good for your joints! I mentioned cooking oxtails briefly in my Bone Broth post, but didn't give complete directions for how to use them. This is one of those foods that you are supposed to eat when you are feeling a bit creaky when you move. There is lots of what my Mom called "Gristle" which melts down when you cook it long enough and it is a classic remedy for healing tendons and rebuilding Cartilage, along with eating braised tendons, a recipe I will post on another day. Oxtail soup also builds blood and is supposed to give you more energy and keeps you warm too.
Oxtail Soup is really quite easy to make. The only thing is that those gristly bits take a bit of getting used to for people who don't like chewy, rubbery things in their soup. If that bothers you, just pull it away from the meat when you cut it up and add only the meat back in. I personally love that texture and I love knowing that my knees and hips will thank me for eating this delicious and nourishing soup!
6 large Oxtails
Water to cover by 3 - 4 inches
1 Large or two Medium Onions, cut into 4 pieces
4 large Roma Tomatoes (use 6 if they are small)
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 stalks of Celery, cut into chunks
2 large Russet Potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large Bay Leaf
1 Tablespoon Salt
Put oxtails and onions in a large soup pot with the water. Bring to a boil and skim foam that comes up. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Add in the Tomatoes and Bay Leaf cook for an additional 1 hour. Then take out the Oxtails and let cool. Mash the tomatoes with a fork and strain broth through a colander. Return the broth to the pot and add in the Salt, the Carrots, Celery and Potato. Bring back to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pull all the meat, gristle and fat off the oxtail bone and chop it up. Remove fat and gristle if desired. Return the meat to the pot to warm when the vegetables are cooked. Stir to blend and serve with crusty bread.
Five Element Analysis
Soup is always part of the Water Element so that element is covered. Beef belongs to the Earth Element as do the Carrots and Potatoes so this soup has plant of that element too. The Onions and Bay leaf contribute the Metal Element and the Tomatoes contribute the Fire Element. Only the Wood Element is missing so serving this with some crusty bread made of wheat would do the trick or with some green vegetables on the side. Your joints will thank you for eating this soup!