Unleashing The Flavor Of Oxtail Soup Recipe Simmered To Perfection

Dive into a rich culinary experience. Oxtail soup recipe carries tales from generations. Every spoonful whispers history, a warm embrace from the past. Succulent Oxtail, simmered to perfection, intertwines with bold herbs and vegetables.

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It’s not just soup; it’s a journey. Countries worldwide have their spin, their secret touch. Some remember it from grandma’s kitchen, others from a bustling street corner abroad. 

As seasons change, its warmth remains timeless. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a kitchen novice, this recipe welcomes you. Let’s unravel the magic of oxtail soup. Dive in. Savor every moment. Your adventure begins now.

What Is Oxtail Soup Recipe?

Begin with 2 lbs of oxtail pieces, cleaned. In a pot, brown the Oxtail. Add 1 diced onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, and sauté. Pour in 8 cups of water, then toss in 2 bay leaves, salt, and pepper. 

Simmer for 3 hours. Introduce 2 chopped carrots and 3 sliced celery stalks. Cook for 30 more minutes. Skim fat. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley—delight in a hearty, flavorful bowl of tradition.

History Of Oxtail Soup Recipe

Oxtail soup’s roots trace back to ancient Europe. Originally a dish for the less affluent, it utilized inexpensive cuts of meat. Over time, cultures globally embraced it, each adding distinctive flavors. 

In Asia, it gained spices and richer broths. The Caribbean introduced beans and allspice. Despite its humble beginnings, oxtail soup has risen in gourmet esteem. Its evolution signifies resilience, creativity, and the universal love for heartwarming meals.

Interesting Facts About The Oxtail Soup Recipe

  • Origins: Despite its name, Oxtail originally referred to the tail of oxen but now includes the tails of common cattle.
  • Royal Taste: In the 18th century, oxtail soup became popular in London’s Spitalfields Market, eventually gracing even the tables of royalty.
  • Global Variations: From Korea’s “kkori gomtang” to Spain’s “rabo de toro,” many countries have their unique oxtail dishes.
  • Slow Cooking: The prolonged simmering makes the oxtail tender, extracting collagen, which imparts a silky texture to the soup.
  • Nutrition: Collagen-rich Oxtail offers potential benefits for skin health and joint support.

What Makes The Oxtail Soup Recipe Special? 

  • Depth of Flavor: Extended simmering infuses the broth with a rich, meaty essence.
  • Texture: The gelatin from the Oxtail gives the soup a unique, velvety consistency.
  • Heritage: A meld of global influences, it tells tales of culinary traditions across continents.
  • Versatility: Adaptable to various ingredients, spices, and cooking methods from different cultures.
  • Nutritional Value: Rich in collagen, it offers potential skin and joint health benefits.

Ingredient Table 

Lard3 to 4 tablespoons
Oxtail pieces2 to 2½ pounds
Cold filtered waterAbout 4 quarts
Bay leaves2
Red wine1 cup (optional)
Pearled barley½ cup (optional)
Carrots (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)1 pound
Parsnips (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)1 pound
Turnip (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)1 large
Onion (peeled and diced)1 large
Garlic (minced)3 to 6 cloves
Brown mushrooms (sliced)1 pound
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepperTo taste
Dried herbs de Provence (or dried thyme)1 to 2 tablespoons
Fresh parsley (finely chopped)1 bunch

Ingredient Tips

  • Lard Alternatives: If you’re out of lard, substitute with butter or a good-quality vegetable oil for sautéing.
  • Oxtail Selection: Choose meaty oxtail pieces; the more gelatinous, the richer the broth.
  • Water Quality: Using filtered water can enhance the soup’s purity and taste.
  • Wine Insights: Opt for a full-bodied red wine; it deepens flavor. But, if you avoid alcohol, omit it.
  • Barley Boost: Pearled barley thickens the soup, but if you prefer gluten-free, use rice or omit it altogether.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto: Swap out the barley for more low-carb veggies like zucchini or cauliflower. Consider adding more fats, like coconut oil or ghee, to maintain the necessary fat macros.
  • Paleo: Remove the barley. Boost it with more root vegetables or replace it with diced sweet potatoes.
  • Gluten-Free: Omit the barley or substitute it with gluten-free grains like rice or quinoa.
  • Whole30: Ditch the wine and barley, adding in more vegetables and herbs for flavor.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Replace the Oxtail with hearty vegetables like eggplant and portobello mushrooms. Use vegetable broth instead of water and vegan wine if added.

Recipe Directions 

  • In a stockpot, melt lard over medium heat. Brown Oxtail for 10 minutes.
  • Cover Oxtail with water, add bay leaves, and bring to a simmer. Remove scum.
  • Add wine and barley (both optional). Simmer on low for 90 minutes.
  • Introduce veggies and mushrooms. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add herbs de Provence and cook until meat falls off the bone.
  • Remove Oxtail, de-bone, chop meat, return to pot.
  • Mix in parsley, season, and serve.

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Asian Twist: Add star anise, ginger, and soy sauce for an Eastern flavor.
  • Caribbean Flare: Integrate allspice, thyme, and butter beans.


  • Grains: Quinoa or rice can be added for heartiness.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, or collard greens provide a fresh bite and added nutrition.
  • Legumes: Red or white beans can offer more body and protein.
  • Tubers: Sweet potatoes or yams bring in a sweeter profile.


  • Crunch: Crispy fried onions or garlic chips.
  • Herbs: Fresh cilantro, dill, or basil for an aromatic finish.
  • Heat: Sliced chili peppers or a drizzle of chili oil for spice enthusiasts.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Basic Ratio: First, identify the ratio between key ingredients, especially the Oxtail and water. For instance, if 2.5 pounds of Oxtail uses 4 quarts of water, then 5 pounds would need 8 quarts.
  • Proportional Scaling: Increase or decrease each ingredient proportionally. If doubling, use twice the amount; if halving, use half.
  • Taste Test: When scaling, taste becomes crucial. More ingredients might need slight adjustments in seasoning.
  • Cooking Vessel: Ensure your pot can accommodate the increased volume, or consider using multiple pots.

What Is Used For Garnishing?

  • Fresh Herbs: Sprigs of parsley, thyme, rosemary, or cilantro can lend a burst of color and aroma.
  • Citrus Zest: Grated lemon or lime zest can provide a tangy brightness.
  • Croutons: Crunchy toasted bread pieces can add contrast to the soup’s texture.
  • Cheese: Grated Parmesan or crumbled feta offers a salty, creamy touch.
  • Drizzled Oils: Olive oil, chili oil, or truffle oil can introduce an extra layer of flavor and shine.

Can I Make Oxtail Soup Recipe In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • Browning: Start by browning the oxtail in a pan for flavor enhancement. Transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Ingredients: Add all ingredients, except for the fresh parsley, into the slow cooker.
  • Cooking: Set on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Check for meat tenderness.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté Mode: Using the sauté function, melt lard and brown the oxtail pieces.
  • Pressure Cooking: Add the remaining ingredients, except parsley. Secure the lid, set to “pressure cook” or “manual” on high for 45 minutes.
  • Release: Allow a natural release for 15 minutes, then quick release.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Perfect for when you’re short on time.
  • Consistency: Offers a predictable flavor and texture.
  • Variety: Available in multiple types (low-sodium, organic, flavored).

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor: Making your own ensures a rich, deep flavor, tailored to your preference.
  • Freshness: No preservatives or additives.
  • Economical: Utilize kitchen scraps like vegetable peels and bones.
  • Versatility: Easily adapt to dietary needs (low-fat, low-salt).

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The  Oxtail Soup Recipe?


  • Beef Bones or Shank: Can mimic the richness of oxtail.
  • Chicken: Use thighs or drumsticks for a lighter soup with bone-in depth.


  • Sturdy Fish: Cod, haddock, or salmon can introduce a maritime twist.


  • Orzo, elbow macaroni, or egg noodles: Can replace barley for a noodle soup version.


  • Potatoes: Offer a hearty alternative to turnips.
  • Celery and bell peppers: Introduce fresh crunch and flavor.

Success Tips-Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe

Prepping Tips

  • Mise en Place: Gather and prep all ingredients beforehand for smooth cooking.
  • Uniformity: Chop ingredients to similar sizes for even cooking.
  • Fresh Herbs: Add delicate herbs towards the end to maintain vibrancy.
  • Quality Stock: Good broth is a soup’s backbone, whether homemade or store-bought.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Low & Slow: Simmering on low heat extracts flavors without overcooking ingredients.
  • Layering: Add ingredients in stages; start with those needing longer cooking times.
  • Skimming: Regularly skim off impurities or fat from the surface for a clear soup.
  • Taste Test: Adjust seasoning as it cooks and tastes regularly for optimal flavor balance.

Nutritional Values

Dive into the nutritional realm of oxtail soup. Packed with protein and essential vitamins, this wholesome dish is more than just comfort food. From fiber-rich vegetables to bone-nourishing marrow, it’s a well-rounded meal that supports overall well-being.

What Are Total Calories In The Soup?

One serving of the described oxtail soup might range from 350-500 calories, depending on the portion size and exact ingredient quantities. 

Dietary Restrictions For The Oxtail Soup Recipe

  • Meat-Based: Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to the Oxtail.
  • Gluten: Pearled barley contains gluten, making it unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
  • Alcohol: Red wine might be unsuitable for some religious diets or those avoiding alcohol, though cooking reduces alcohol content.
  • Low-Carb: The barley and root vegetables might be high in carbs for keto dieters.
  • Allergens: Ensure all ingredients align with any individual allergies, like sensitivity to mushrooms or specific herbs.

Health Benefits Of The Oxtail Soup Recipe

  • Protein-Rich: Oxtail is a good source of protein, essential for muscle repair and overall body function.
  • Collagen: The slow cooking of oxtail releases collagen, which is beneficial for skin, hair, and joint health.
  • Iron: Oxtail provides a healthy dose of iron, which is crucial for oxygen transport in the blood.
  • Minerals: The bone broth base is rich in minerals like calcium and magnesium.
  • Vitamins: Vegetables like carrots and parsnips contribute essential vitamins like A and C.

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Oxtail Soup Recipe Lower In Sodium?

  • No-Sodium Broth: Opt for homemade broth without added salt or buy a no-sodium or low-sodium store-bought option.
  • Skip Added Salt: Don’t add table salt while cooking. Let the natural flavors of the ingredients shine.
  • Herbs & Spices: Use salt-free seasoning blends or fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and parsley to add flavor.
  • Fresh Produce: Use fresh vegetables instead of canned, as canned versions often contain added salt.
  • Taste Test: Always taste before serving. Let individuals season their own bowls if needed.

How Can I Make Oxtail Soup Recipe Lower In Sugar?

  • Wine Choice: If using wine, opt for a dry red wine, which generally has less residual sugar than sweeter varieties.
  • Vegetable Selection: Choose low-sugar vegetables. For instance, opt for green bell peppers instead of their sweeter red or yellow counterparts.
  • Barley Alternative: If you’re concerned about the natural sugars in barley, consider a lower-carb grain like quinoa or omit grains altogether.
  • Natural Flavor: Rely on herbs, spices, and the natural sweetness of vegetables like carrots instead of adding any sweeteners.
  • Read Labels: If using store-bought broth, read the label carefully to ensure it doesn’t contain added sugars.

How To Serve Oxtail Soup Recipe In The Best Way?

  • Temperature: Ensure the soup is hot but not scalding. The ideal temperature accentuates flavors and provides comfort.
  • Bowl Choice: Opt for wide, shallow bowls. This allows for the even distribution of oxtail pieces, vegetables, and broth in every serving.
  • Garnish: A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley can add color and fresh flavor, while a drizzle of high-quality olive oil can offer richness.
  • Sides: Offer crusty bread or a simple green salad to complement the soup without overwhelming it.
  • Individual Seasoning: Provide options like freshly ground black pepper, flaky sea salt, or even a wedge of lemon for guests to customize their bowls.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement The Oxtail Soup Recipe

  • Crusty Bread: A slice of sourdough or rustic French bread can soak up the flavorful broth.
  • Green Salad: A simple mixed greens salad with a light vinaigrette offers a fresh contrast.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Mildly seasoned roasted root vegetables can echo the flavors in the soup.
  • Grain Salad: A quinoa or farro salad with fresh herbs and lemon adds texture and lightness.
  • Cauliflower Rice: For a low-carb option, lightly sautéed cauliflower rice can be both satisfying and complementary.

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

  • Refrigerator: Store the cooled soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the soup in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. It should keep its quality for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: Thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen. Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot throughout.

Can I Make Soup In Advance?

Yes, making oxtail soup in advance is a great idea, especially since its flavors meld and improve over time. Prepare the soup as directed and let it cool. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

This allows the spices and ingredients to infuse more deeply, enhancing the overall taste. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup on the stovetop until it’s hot throughout. It’s a convenient way to have a delicious meal at your fingertips.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Stew Transformation: Thick the soup with some flour and add potatoes to turn it into a hearty stew.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the liquid and serve the meat and vegetables over pasta.
  • Tacos: Shred the oxtail meat and use it as a unique taco filling, adding a little of the broth for extra flavor.
  • Shepherd’s Pie: Use the soup as a base layer, top it with mashed potatoes, and bake.
  • Casserole: Combine with cooked rice and cheese, then bake until bubbly.

Special Tools And Equipment Needed

  • Stockpot: A large, heavy-duty stockpot is essential for making a good batch of soup. It should hold at least 6 quarts to accommodate all the ingredients and liquid.
  • Tongs: Useful for turning the oxtail pieces while browning and for removing them from the pot later.
  • Slotted Spoon: Helps in skimming off any scum or fat that rises to the surface during cooking.
  • Cutting Board and Knives: A sturdy cutting board and sharp knives are necessary for chopping vegetables and herbs.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accurate measurements of liquid and spices ensure consistent results.
  • Ladle: For serving the soup.
  • Airtight Containers: For storing any leftovers or prepped ingredients.
  • Optional – Slow Cooker/Instant Pot: If you prefer a hands-off approach, these appliances can also be used to make oxtail soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Beef Broth Instead Of Cold Filtered Water For The Base?

Yes, substituting beef broth for cold filtered water can provide a richer flavor profile for your oxtail soup. However, please be mindful of the sodium levels if you’re using store-bought beef broth. Opting for a low-sodium variety or diluting the broth with water may be advisable.

Is It Necessary To Brown The Oxtail Pieces Before Simmering?

Browning the oxtail pieces serves to develop a complex flavor through the Maillard reaction. Though this step could technically be skipped, it is highly recommended for achieving the soup’s signature depth of flavor.

Can I Use Fresh Herbs Instead Of Dried Herbs De Provence Or Dried Thyme?

Certainly, fresh herbs can be an excellent substitution. The general rule of thumb is to use three times the amount of fresh herbs as you would dried, due to the difference in potency.

What Is The Role Of Pearled Barley In The Recipe, And Can It Be Replaced?

Pearled barley adds texture and a mild, nutty flavor to the soup. If you prefer, you may substitute it with other grains like farro or brown rice. Note that cooking times for different grains may vary.

Can Frozen Vegetables Be Used Instead Of Fresh?

Frozen vegetables can indeed be employed as a time-saving measure. However, please be aware that they may have a softer texture once cooked. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, adding frozen vegetables later in the cooking process to avoid overcooking.

Unleashing The Flavor Of Oxtail Soup Recipe Simmered To Perfection

Unleashing The Flavor Of Oxtail Soup Recipe Simmered To Perfection

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: soup recipe


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Savor the richness of oxtail soup, a culinary delight that combines succulent meat, hearty vegetables, and aromatic herbs. This comforting dish is perfect for any season and offers a satisfying depth of flavor that elevates it beyond a simple soup.


  • Lard

  • Oxtail pieces

  • Cold filtered water

  • Bay leaves

  • Red wine

  • Pearled barley

  • Carrots (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

  • Parsnips (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

  • Turnip (peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces)

  • Onion (peeled and diced)

  • Garlic (minced)

  • Brown mushrooms (sliced)

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Dried herbs de Provence (or dried thyme)

  • Fresh parsley (finely chopped)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Get all your ingredients ready, ensuring the oxtail pieces are clean and vegetables are properly prepped.
  • Cooking
    In a large stockpot, melt the lard over medium heat. Once melted, add the oxtail pieces. Stir frequently, ensuring even browning, for about 10 minutes.
    Pour cold filtered water into the pot, making sure it covers all the oxtail pieces. Toss in the bay leaves.
    Place your pot over medium heat, uncovered. Let it reach a bare simmer. As it heats, skim off any scum that floats to the surface.
    Introduce the optional wine and barley. Then, reduce the heat to its lowest setting. Let it gently simmer, either with the lid completely off or slightly askew, for 90 minutes.
    Now, it’s time for the veggies! Add the carrots, parsnips, turnip, onion, garlic, and mushrooms into the pot. If they aren’t submerged, pour in more cold filtered water. Let everything simmer together for 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and flavors melded.
  • Blending & Final Touches
    Season your soup with salt and pepper. Stir in the herbs de Provence. Continue simmering until the oxtail meat becomes so tender that it easily falls off the bone.
    With tongs and a slotted spoon, extract the oxtail pieces. Separate the meat from the bones. Chop the meat finely and reintroduce it into the soup.
  • Serving
    To enhance flavors, stir in the freshly chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning if necessary.


  • Skimming: Take the time to skim off any fat or scum that rises to the top during the initial simmer for a clearer broth.
  • Wine: If using red wine, opt for a variety that complements beef, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec.
  • Bay Leaves: Remember to remove bay leaves before serving, as they can be a choking hazard.
  • Tenderness: The Oxtail is ready when it easily separates from the bone. If it doesn’t, consider extending the simmering time.
  • Herbs: Feel free to tweak the herbs based on your personal preferences; rosemary or sage could be good additions.
Hanna Barnes
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