It’s a nice rainy and chilly Sunday here in Texas.. Perfect for some good home made soup.
I went to a cool new Hispanic market yesterday and bought several things from the meat and produce department. They have a very different variety of items to choose from.
I was happy to find beautifully fresh looking Ox Tail.
Growing up, oxtail was used a lot by my mom and grandma, especially for making beef consome (boullion) and ox tail soup.
The “tail” of the cattle, seems weird to most people here in the U.S. to eat, but all over the world, it is eaten and prized for the tremendous flavor and nutrtion it deliveres especially after long braising or stewing. It releases a lot of collagen, so if you’re into bone broth…try yourself some oxtail. This is wholesome REAL FOOD, good for you stuff!
If you’re NOT into offal, but are trying to get some more of it into your diet, ox tail is a wonderful starting point.
Years ago, I could ask butchers for ox tail, and most of the time they would give it away for FREE! There was no demand for it. That has changed. Some of the popular tv celebrity chefs have been using it and it is now in vogue. End result, it’s not the cheap offal you used to be able to get your hands on (still a lot cheaper than most meats). Try the Hispanic and Korean markets. The recipe below can easily be made with other meat. Choose cheaper cuts from parts that are heavily exercised parts of the animal. Cuts like those from the shoulder, leg or rump of the animal, as well as ones that contain a lot of connective tissue, like the chuck, shank, brisket and of course oxtail.
So here is the finished product:
Ready to make it? Or at least store this freakin delicious soup recipe somewhere for later use?
2 pounds of ox tail (looks like this)
1 large FAT carrot
1 small red onion
1 half yellow onion
3 medium celery stalk
1/2 serrano pepper (with seeds)
4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons tomato paste
handful of fresh cilantro for garnish
2 bay leaves
1 bouillion cube
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1. In a large pot, brown your oxtail in butter and remove from the pan. Set aside.
2. Add a teaspoon of water to your pan (should have a bit of burnt charred remains in the pan from browning the oxtail) and your chopped onion garlic and serrano pepper
3. When onions are translucent, add the chopped tomato.
4. Now add your chopped celery and chopped carrot (again use a big fat carrot, the ones that are the size of fat cucumbers)
5. Combine everything well and scrape the sides of your pan to get all that goodness from the browned meat off there. Cook for about 3-5 minutes
6. Add your tomato paste, 2 bay leaves, bouillion cube, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and mix all ingredients thoroughly. Let cook another 2 minutes.
7. Add your browned ox tail to the pan. Mix well with the other ingredients. Add tblsp of olive oil
8. Add water to pan. Enough water to cover ingredients and about 2 inches extra.
9. Bring to a boil and turn down heat and simmer for 4 hours.
10. Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro
Ok, so here’s something I like to do. After 2 hours, the meat will be soft but not fall off the bone yet…
I remove the meat from the soup and take all the meat of the bones. Then a quick chop of the meat and back into the pan.
Look at all that beautiful meat. The ox tail bone plucked clean reminded of the Texas Longhorn symbol.
If you chop all that meat into little pieces, it just makes for a nice soup eating experience. Nothing to struggle with.
Enjoy your Sunday! Relax, make some soup, read a book, do some yoga, have a glass of red wine, watch some football, make love……you get the idea, ENJOY and be happy.
I will show you tomorrow morning how to make make an easy dinner for Monday night, so you don’t have to plan or think. Easy as pie too.
Beef with a cilantro onion sauce
I’m reading Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s search for meaning” . I’ve known about it for years, scanned it many times but never read it. A book seems to arrive at the right time in one’s life doesn’t it? Magically so….
I’m enjoying it tremendously.
This wonderful quote made me smile as it’s a perfect summary of my own feelings:
“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning