Homemade Oxtail Soup

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Oxtail Soup

Oxtail soup is a rich and flavorful broth made from slow-cooked oxtail meat, often with vegetables and aromatic herbs. It’s a comforting and hearty dish, perfect for warming up on chilly days.

Homemade Oxtail Soup Recipe

Prep:25 mins

Cook:3 hrs 30 mins

Total:3 hrs 55 mins

Servings:6 servings

In spite of what the name may suggest, oxtails are in fact the tails of cattle (and not a particular breed of cow), and they happen to be the key ingredient in the most flavorful soup. This recipe has the potential to change the minds of those who initially balk at the thought of consuming a cow’s tail as food. Oxtail has a flavor similar to beef, but its texture is more similar to that of a short rib that has been smoothed out and made more supple. Because it is such a gelatinous and rich meat, oxtail is frequently used on its own to produce stock. In fact, this is rather common.

It is widely held that French and Flemish immigrants to London in the 1700s were responsible for the creation of this recipe for oxtail soup. Because of the length of time they take to cook and the considerable amount of fat they contain, oxtails have historically been considered a particularly inexpensive cut of meat that was used to make efficient use of all parts of the animal. It is a dish that is prepared in many different parts of the world, ranging from the countries of Korea, Indonesia, and Russia to the countries of Africa, Spain, Jamaica, and the American South.

The traditional British recipe calls for onions, carrots, celery, and thyme to be used in the dish. The fatty beef makes it necessary to boil for a long period of time, but other than that, very little effort is required. When you take a bite of the soup, you will realize that the end result was well worth the effort that was put into it.


  • 2 pounds oxtail, fat trimmed cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons beef drippings, or cooking oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, minced
  • 2 quarts water, or 6 cups water and 2 cups beef broth or bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry, or port wine, optional

Instructions on How to Do It


1. Collect the necessary components.

2. The oxtails should be dredged in the half cup of flour.

3. In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the oil for cooking or the beef drippings to a high temperature. After being cooked to a browned consistency, remove the meat from the pan but leave the fat in it. Let the meat drain on some paper towels.

4. When the onions are golden brown, add the minced onions to the pot, crank the heat up to medium, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Mix everything together thoroughly, then lightly toast the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.

6. As you gradually pour in the water, whisk in the tomato paste, then season with salt and pepper. Place the parsley, thyme, and cloves in the pot after you have tied the bay leaf in cheesecloth with the other herbs.

7. After returning the oxtail to the saucepan, cover it and continue to boil it for another three hours, or until the meat is fork-tender. After letting it cool, skim out the fat, and then remove the cheesecloth bag.

8. Take the oxtail out of the broth and pull the meat away from the bones. Return the meat to the stew after chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Carrots and celery should be added to the pan.

9. Cover and cook over low heat for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the carrots are soft. You can add some sherry or port if you’d like.

10. You can serve it as it is, or you can filter the liquid and serve it as an appetizer. After that, serve the oxtail and some veggies.


Oxtail soup that will melt your heart with an adventurous twist

Where can I buy oxtails for the soup?

Oxtails can be found in most well-stocked grocery stores, butcher shops, or Asian markets. They are typically available in the meat section. If you can’t find them, you can ask your local butcher to order them for you.

Can I use a slow cooker or Instant Pot to make Oxtail Soup?

Yes, you can use a slow cooker or Instant Pot to make Oxtail Soup. Simply follow the same steps of searing the oxtails and sautéing the vegetables in a separate pan. Then, transfer everything to the slow cooker or Instant Pot, add the broth and seasonings, and cook on the appropriate setting until the oxtails are tender.

What can I serve with Oxtail Soup?

Oxtail Soup is often served as a main dish alongside crusty bread or rice. You can also enjoy it with a side salad for a well-rounded meal.

Can I freeze Oxtail Soup for later?

Yes, you can freeze Oxtail Soup for later consumption. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe bags. Label and date the containers, and store them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw and reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave when ready to eat.

What are some optional additions or variations to the soup?

You can add other vegetables like potatoes, parsnips, or turnips to the soup for added flavor and texture. Some recipes also include tomatoes for a slightly tangy taste. Feel free to experiment and adjust the ingredients according to your preference.


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