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Oxtail Soup

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Oxtail Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold days made with oxtails, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, and beans. This slow-cooked dish is made with tender, flavorful oxtail and vegetables.

a bowl of oxtail stew on a gray background

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Oxtail is a collagen-rich, flavorful cut of meat is gelatinous and makes deeply rich stocks and soups. This original recipe is better than options found in restaurants. The best part of this is that you can make it right at home. It’s a good thing, too, because you won’t be able to only eat one bowl! After a couple of hours of simmering, the hearty vegetables and succulent meat are irresistible.

Try this Jamaican oxtail recipe too.

Ingredients

ingredients labeled for oxtail soup in small bowls on a white background

How to make oxtail soup

It’s easy to make this hearty oxtail soup recipe. These few steps that will produce a dish you’ll want to share with all your friends and family.

raw oxtail pieces in a large white bowl

Season the oxtail with salt, black pepper, and brown sugar.

oxtails browning in white pot

Brown the oxtail in a single layer on both sides. Remove oxtail and place them on a plate. 

Reduce the heat to medium and deglaze the pot with beef broth.

sautéed vegetables in a large dutch oven

Stir in the yellow onions, carrots, and celery and sauté until the onions have softened.

Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.

pot of oxtail soup before cooking

Place the oxtails back in the large dutch oven along with the remaining beef broth, ensuring the oxtails are covered with the broth. 

Lay the bay leaves and rosemary on top of the broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to a simmer. 

overhead view of a pot filled with cooked oxtail stew

Cover and cook for 2-3 hours until the oxtail pieces are tender and can separate from the bone easily.

Add the beans and continue to cook until the beans are heated through.

Remove the hearty stew from the heat and take out the bay leaf and rosemary stems before serving.

a bowl of oxtail stew on a gray background

Serve in individual bowls with crusty white bread.  

Expert Tips

The savory flavors in this comforting soup are perfect for a cold day. These tips will help home cooks make this delicious oxtail soup.

  • I like to brown only half of the oxtail meat. It speeds up the recipe and ensures that the brown spots on the bottom of the pot don’t burn. 
  • Make sure to brown on medium heat to avoid burning the oxtail when browning. If the oxtails burns in the pot, the soup will taste bitter. 
  • Trim excess fat from the oxtails before adding them to the soup.  
  • Skim fat from the top of the soup if you find it too oily. 
  • Take the oxtails out of the soup when it’s done cooking, remove the meat from the bones, and add the meat back to the soup.

What other ingredients can I add to oxtail soup? 

You can add other ingredients to this oxtail soup to make it your own. There are many different versions all over the world, and you can choose the style you like best.

Here are some options you can try:

  • Mushrooms 
  • Mustard greens 
  • Bok choy 
  • Bay leaves 
  • Black peppercorns 
  • Black beans, kidney beans 
  • Curry paste or powder 
  • Potatoes or other root vegetables  
a bowl of oxtail stew on a gray background

What kind of meat is oxtail? 

Contrary to the name, oxtail is not the tail of an ox but rather the tail of a cow.

Originally ox tails were used because it was a cheap cut of meat, but over the years, cows have become much more common.

They star in favorite recipes in Jamaica, Africa, Spain, Vietnam, Korea, and Latin America.  

The tails are used for stocks or soups and have a very rich flavor.

They are comparable to short ribs in flavor and are quite gelatinous.

For more information about oxtails, take a look at this article: What is oxtail.

Where can I buy oxtail?  

So you want to try oxtails for the first time but don’t know where to buy them. You may be able to find them in your local grocery store, but you may need to look for them in a specialty shop.

Look for a local butcher store where you can buy meat behind a counter, cheeses, condiments, and other items. Ask for local, grass-fed, or organic first. They will have the best flavor and will be perfect for this soup. If they don’t have local oxtails, any will work.   

a bowl of oxtail stew next to a spoon on a gray plate

How to serve oxtail soup  

Serve this delicious soup with roasted vegetables, a crunchy salad, or over white rice.

Pair it with mayonnaise biscuits, southern cucumber salad, grilled vegetables, or garlic mashed potatoes.

How to store 

Refrigerate: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.  

Reheat: Reheat an individual serving in a bowl in the microwave in 30-second increments until warm all the way through.

You can also reheat a whole pot to serve for leftovers the next day. Pour the remaining soup into a large pot and heat it until just simmering.

Freeze: This is a great soup to freeze and save for later. It will stay fresh in a large container in the freezer for up to three months.

a bowl of oxtail stew on a gray background

FAQs

What does ox tail soup taste like? 

Oxtail soup has a very rich broth that tastes beefy and flavorful. It has tender meat and can be served over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.   

Can I make oxtail soup in an instant pot? 

You can make this soup in a pressure cooker. Reduce the broth by one cup and cook under pressure for 45 minutes and then allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and stir in the canned beans and remove the fresh herbs.  

Can I cook oxtail soup in a slow cooker? 

Yes, this is a great way to get all the flavor from the oxtails into the soup. Cook on low for 8-10 hours until the oxtail is tender. Add the drained beans when there are about 30 minutes left on the slow cooker.

If you have tried this Oxtail Soup recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

a bowl of oxtail stew on a gray background
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Oxtail Soup

Oxtail Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold days made with oxtails, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, and beans.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Jamaican
Keyword oxtail soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 4 servings
Calories 760kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds oxtails
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 15.5 ounces can cannellini beans drained

Instructions

  • Season oxtail with salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottom pot. Add the oxtail in a single layer and brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove oxtail and place them on a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and deglaze the pot by adding about 2 Tbsp of beef broth to the pot. Take a wooden spoon and deglaze your pot by removing the brown bits at the bottom. Then add your yellow onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions have softened. Add garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Add the oxtail back to the pot along with the remaining beef broth, ensuring the oxtails are covered with the broth.  Lay the bay leaves and rosemary on top of the broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 2-3 hours, until the oxtail are tender and can separate from the bone easily. Add drained beans and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the beans are heated through. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaf and rosemary stems before serving.

Notes

Notes:
  • I like to brown only half of the oxtail. It speeds up the recipe and ensures that the brown spots on the bottom of the pot doesn’t get burnt. 
  • Make sure to brown on medium heat to avoid burning the oxtail when browning. If the oxtails burns in the pot, the soup can taste bitter. 
  • This soup can also be prepared in a pressure cooker. When converting for the pressure cooker, reduce the broth by 1 cup and pressure cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Add the drained beans after pressure cooking. 
  • This soup can be prepared in a slow cooker. Just slow cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the oxtail is tender. Add the drained beans when there are about 30 minutes left on the slow cooker.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 760kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 92g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 312mg | Sodium: 2560mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 79IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 12mg
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Although myforkinglife.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will myforkinglife.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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