By Dream Angus
First catch your Ox-Tail
Most local butchers will have a supply of it. Some in the freezer in vacuum packs. You will need about a kilo, and this will cost between £5-£7 , but if you use a big pot about 6 litres in size you will be using it all week. Big supermarket chains have it in the butchers counter but usually are more expensive.
1 kilo of Ox-tail. Try and get at least two thick bits to get meat from.
Boil the ox-tail slowly simmering for 3-4 hours. Yes that long – keep topping up with hot water. You can add 2-3 Bay leaves. Use plenty of coarsely ground black pepper but not any salt as the stock cubes you are going to add later will contain salt.
While that is happening prepare the vegetables. In the picture above you see my preferred veggies but as long as you have celery, carrots and potatoes, you can add pretty much anything else you have. Red Chillies are optional.Have also had this with coriander.
The meat should come off the bone then after removing and letting cool.
The end result.
When the Ox-tail has been removed add in the chopped veggies . You are going for a thin soup but with lots of vegetables . You will need to add beef stock cubes to taste. I ended up with 8 cubes for this batch, two of these were Oxo cubes as they add a bit of colour.
You want to cook the soup until the veggies are cooked but not turned to mush. Serve immediately but let cool or you will burn off the roof of your mouth!
It’s a fairly long process but doing it a second time creates a Zen like rhythm because the result will be very satisfying. Ox-tail therapeutic soup- the crack cocaine of soups.
Why is soup therapeutic ?
This is a soup recipe to savour in bad weather or if you have someone at home or a neighbour feeling down in the dumps with man flu or something more serious. It will warm more than the cockles of your heart and could sort out your sinuses if you choose to use the red chilli option!
A great soup for keeping a never-ending pot topped up for a whole week, or sharing with someone as a pick me up. That is why I call it therapeutic soup. That and if you stand over the steaming pot you get warmed up while you are cooking it.
Do not expect instant results. Patience will be paid off and repeating it also improves the recipe to suit your own taste. I have never tried crack cocaine but some people who have tasted this and come back for a second bowl very quickly after testing it .
If you follow the recipe you will get my meaning.