Monday, April 16, 2012

Crockpot Oxtail Soup

Oxtail soup is delicious. End of story. If you've never had it, you're missing out. the meat is very tender and delicious, with broth that makes your lips sticky. In this recipe, the meat'll come right off the bones. But don't forget those bones- there's delicious marrow in there.
This is a basic recipe; all you need to add is the additions that you like- vegetables and some sort of grain or bean.  Enjoy!

Crockpot Oxtail Soup
Serves 2 (x2 for 4)

2 lbs cut oxtail (I had to go to a butcher shop to find this, sometimes if you're lucky you'll see it in a standard grocery store).
1 tbsp olive oil
garlic salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 cube of beef bouillon
1 packet of onion soup mix
1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic
vegetables of choice
bean or grain of choice

Rinse and pat the cuts of oxtail dry. Season all sides with the garlic salt and black pepper. Heat a medium to large pan with the olive oil until a sprinkle of water in the pan sizzles. Add the oxtail, and brown all sides of each piece. No need to cook through, just medium to high heat for a good caramelizing.
When they're browned on all sides, add them one by one to the crockpot. Depending on how cold your crockpot is, you can turn it to low or warm during this. Deglaze the pan and add the water and all the goodies to the crockpot. Add water to the crockpot, a little or a lot depending on how thick you want your soup. I like mine more soupy, and remember there will be loss of water throughout the day due to cooking. Add the beef cube, the onion soup mix, the Worcestershire sauce, and a pressed clove of garlic. At this time, add any grains or beans that'll take longer than 45 minutes regularly to cook. I've added barley in the past, and it was delicious. 
Set on low for 6-8 hours. 6 hours if you want to add anything, 8 hours if you're not going to add anything. Anything examples include: Lentils, presoaked kidney/lima/garbanzo/pinto beans, cracked wheat, quinoa, Cauliflower, carrots, parsley root, etc. I usually put whatever's in the fridge. Last time I made it there was cauliflower, carrots, and lentils added. When you put in your additions (including another pressed clove of garlic) let it cook for an hour or two, or until the veggies are cooked. (the oxtail will be fully cooked at 6 hours). Let me know what additions you came up with!
Also, if there is any broth left after dinner, save it! It makes great soup additions in the future. Freeze it into little ice cubes and add to soups and gravies, or anytime you want that rich beef flavor.

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