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Oxtail soup or Potage au queue de buf is a thickened brown soup.

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Recipe for oxtail soup

For the preparation of 1 litre oxtail soup you need 200 g root vegetables, consisting of carrots, celery root, leeks and onions, 300 g oxtail, 300 g bones and trimmings of veal or beef, 400 bis 500 ml stock, 80 g fat, 30 g tomato puree, 100 ml red wine, 40 g flour, 20 g butter, 50 ml Madeira wine or dry sherry and spices (for example bay leaf, peppercorns and mustard seeds).

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Preparation of oxtail soup

Cut the oxtail in small pieces. It is best to use a sharp kitchen knife and cut through the joints of the tail. Chop the veal or beef bones in walnut sized pieces. Tail and bones are fried until brown in a large roasting tin. Add the diced root vegetables and brown on all sides. Mix the tomato puree with a little water until smooth, add to the roasting tin and fry for a few minutes. Stir every now and then with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking and burning. When the tomato puree starts to shine glossy the wine should be evaporated. [Weil man ihn ausgetrunken hat? Sorry :-), der Wein war noch nicht erwhnt. Wann und wie viel davon wird dazugegeben?] This process, which is called deglazing, should be repeated several times. Add the flour at the end and fry for several minutes longer.

Now add the stock, cover the bones with water and stir in the spices. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer. Scum and fat swimming on top should occasionally be removed with a slotted spoon. This is called skimming. During cooking some of the water evaporates. If it does not cover the bones anymore you should fill up with water again. Stir every now and then to prevent burning.

After about 20 minutes the meat clinging to the oxtail should be tender. Remove the oxtail pieces from the soup and cool them under cold running water for a few seconds. After 2 1/2 to 3 hours all ingredients should be leached out; their flavour should have transferred to the soup. Strain through a chinoise, and then through a finer sieve. Pour the soup back in the pan and cook until it is reduced to the required amount. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Remove the still warm meat from the oxtail bones and press in a terrine form. Leave to cool over night. The next day dice the cold meat. It is used as a soup addition with blanched carrot and root celery dices. Heat the oxtail soup and season with Madeira wine or dry sherry and mount with cold butter. Warm the soup additions and fill in soup bowls, then top with hot oxtail soup. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Tipp: Oxtail soup is delicious if a spoonful of creme frache, sour cream, whipped cream or smetana is dropped in the middle of each soup bowl. If you prefer an alternative with less fat yoghurt can be used instead.

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