FoodKayiubeef, soup, Hong Kongese

Oxtail Soup

FoodKayiubeef, soup, Hong Kongese
Oxtail Soup

This is a classic dish my mom used to make all the time. It's a very simple dish to prepare and cook. I just love the aroma of the soup that fills the air, and kindly reminds me of my mom's cooking.

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There are many styles of Oxtail Soup – Korean, Hawaiian, Chinese, German, Polish, etc... And there're also oxtail stews that are usually richer and more flavorful. But what I love about this Oxtail Soup, that I have inherited from my mom, is that you can really appreciate the simple, natural taste of the wholesome ingredients. And since this is a brothy soup, I often like to add something that's more substantial to it to make it more of a full meal – potatoes or pasta (something like fusilli or rotini) would do just fine.

When you're cooking oxtail or any kind of stew meat in soups, the cook time is usually long because you want the collagens of the meat to break down slowly in very slow heat. If for some reason the oxtail meat did not turn out to be as tender as you thought, there might be a few explanations. And one would be that the meat was simply from an older ox/cow. And how can you tell if the meat is good when you're shopping at the grocery store? Well, that I'm afraid it's something that I haven't learned so I can't offer you a solution. From what I've read, searing the meats first before simmering might help to make it more tender. I gotta give that a try next time!

So beside the meat in this Oxtail Soup, the ingredients are really basic – cabbage, carrots, onion, and tomatoes.

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Roughly chop up the cabbage.

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Aren't these vine tomatoes gorgeous just to look at? :)

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Use a BIG pot, something that holds at least a gallon.

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Here's a little tip. Tomato paste is thick. If you drop a tablespoon of it into the pot, it's just gonna get lost in between all the vegetable. Instead, when adding the tomato paste, mix it up first in the ladle.

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See how much easier this is?

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Get ready to dig into a bowl of veggie goodness with some real tender beef!

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Oxtail Soup

Makes: about 4 quarts Cook Time: 3 1/2 hour

You'll need:

  • 2 lbs of oxtail
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 16oz-bag of baby carrots (or 3-4 regular carrots)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 vine tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt

Approach:

  1. Heat 4 quarts of water in a big pot until boiled, add the oxtail. Reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 2 hours.
  2. While the oxtail is cooking, chop up all the vegetable.
  3. After 2 hours, add the bay leaves and all the veggies. Add the cabbage first (bottom), and tomatoes (top). Let it cook for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, give everything a big stir. Then, add the tomato paste by mixing it in the ladle first.
  5. Add the dried basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  6. Let it simmer for 1 more hour.

Notes:

I like to cook the pasta separately, and add them into the soup later. This way I can make sure it won't be overcooked.