Oxtail soup

Oxtail soup

Dean Cambray

My favourite way of cooking oxtail is in a sticky, full-flavoured soup. I like to throw in a pig’s trotter or an ear while the oxtails are cooking, as they enrich the soup even more, and add a lovely sheen to the soup.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
2kg oxtails, cut into small chunks
freshly ground black pepper
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
150g butter
4 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup red wine
1 cup port or madeira
1 pig’s trotter or pig’s ear, (optional)
6 sprigs thyme
1.5 litres good-quality beef or chicken stock
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish until it sizzles. Season the oxtails. Brown them all over, then transfer them to a plate. Add the carrots, celery and parsnip to the casserole and sauté over a medium heat until they begin to colour.
  2. Add the butter to the casserole and when it begins to sizzle add the onions and garlic. Sweat over a medium heat until the onions begin to soften and turn a pale golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and port then return the oxtails to the pan.
  3. Add the pig’s trotter and thyme to the casserole then pour on the stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the casserole and simmer gently for 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
  4. When cool enough to handle, pick all the meat from the oxtails and pig’s trotter and discard the bones. Return the meat to the soup, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking and serve garnished with parsley.
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