Friday, 25 September 2009

Oxtail Soup

One of the much-loved soups of the Great British public, and memories of when the local butcher's shop sold oxtails inexpensively.

This soup is one of our favourite soups and the one I always used in the hotels, for Mr. and Mrs. Finken at Lodge Hill as well as for lord and Lady Hanson.

To make this soup a real winner for a dinner party replace 1 pint of the stock with red wine and near the finish add 3 tablespoon of a good port.

Serves/Makes: 4

Prep-Time: 20 minutes

Cook-Time: 4 hours

You Will Need;

1 oxtail

2 carrots diced

1 turnip diced

1 onion diced

4 tablespoons dripping or oil

1 tablespoon seasoned flour

6, peppercorns

2 sprigs, fresh thyme

3 tablespoons parsley chopped finely

1 bay leaf

4 pints water or beef stock

Method:

Joint the oxtail and blanch it (put it into a saucepan with a pinch of salt, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil.

Strain off the water, put the joints into cold water for a minute, and then wipe them with a cloth.

Season the tablespoon of flour with salt and pepper, and coat the joints of oxtail with it, I find it best to place the seasoned flour into a plastic food bag and then add the oxtail and give it all a good shake.

Melt the dripping or oil in a saucepan, and brown the joints well, turning them over so that all sides are browned. Add the stock or water and bring to a boil, boil gently for about 30 minutes, skimming off the scum as it rises.

Tie up the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, and parsley in a piece of muslin.

Pour off any excess fat, add the herb and spice parcel and diced vegetables, season with salt & pepper and simmer for three and a half hours, then strain off the stock.

Set aside the pieces of oxtail, rub the vegetables through a sieve or you can use a blender, skim off any fat from the stock, and add the vegetable puree to it. Put in a saucepan; if the soup seems a little thin remove some of the soup let cool slightly and whisk in a tablespoon of flour whisk this into the simmering soup and let simmer until the flour has cooked in and thickened the soup, serve hot.