Ranchero-style beef broth with bone marrow & chimichurri toast

Ranchero-style beef broth with bone marrow & chimichurri toast

Chris Middleton

This is an opulent version of a typical breakfast soup I tried in Oaxaca, Mexico. The key is a rich and full-flavoured stock, which is created after long, slow braising of the oxtail. The marrow toast makes a welcome addition – it is rich but the punchy chimichurri adds a lovely herbaceous acid kick. I am sure you will adore this as much as most chefs and foodies. It’s a great beef eater’s wintry feast!



Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3kg oxtail pieces
2 chorizo sausages
4 carrots, halved lengthways
2 garlic bulbs, halved crossways
2 litres beef stock
250g tin poblano chillies in adobo sauce
bouquet garni

Soup base

Quantity Ingredient
5 onions
6 celery stalks
6 bullhorn chillies, seeded
170ml olive oil
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
8 thyme sprigs, tied in a muslin parcel or tied in a bundle with kitchen string
310ml sherry vinegar
110g sugar
250g cooked or tinned black beans
200g cooked or tinned chickpeas

Bone marrow & chimichurri toast

Quantity Ingredient
4 thin slices rustic bread
extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing and drizzling
sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, halved, for rubbing
125g New-style chimichurri
2cm thick slices of deboned marrow, rinsed and soaked in iced water for 30 minutes to draw out the blood and discolourations
3 eschalots, thinly sliced into rings
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley
1-2 pickled jalapenos, sliced
baby breakfast radishes, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. To prepare the broth, heat the oil in a deep heavy-based flameproof casserole dish with a lid over medium–high heat. Season the oxtail. Sear the oxtail and whole chorizo on all sides until well browned. Drain off the excess fat and transfer the oxtail and chorizo to a large plate.
  3. Add the carrot and garlic to the dish and cook until lightly coloured. Pour in the stock, add the poblano in adobo and bouquet garni. Return the oxtail and chorizo to the dish. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 1⁄2–3 hours, until the oxtail meat is soft and gelatinous.
  4. Meanwhile, to prepare the soup base, thinly slice the onion, celery and bullhorn chillies with a mandoline, taking care not to cut too close to your fingers.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cook the onion, celery, chilli and garlic until softened and all of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, add the thyme, vinegar and sugar and reduce to a syrup. Remove from the heat.
  6. Once the oxtail is soft and tender, remove the oxtail and chorizo from the broth. Skim off any excess fat and impurities. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve into the soup base.
  7. Remove the oxtail meat from the bone. Trim and discard any fat or gristle.
  8. Cut the chorizo into 2 cm thick slices.
  9. Heat the broth and soup base mixture over medium heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Add the beans, chickpeas, oxtail and chorizo.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C.
  11. Preheat an overhead grill (broiler) to medium–high.
  12. To prepare the chimichurri toasts, brush the bread on both sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and rub with garlic. Arrange on a tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Spread the toast with the chimichurri. Place the marrow slices on top of the toasts and season. Grill (broil) briefly to warm up.
  13. Combine the eschalots, parsley and jalapeño in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  14. To serve, pile the soup base, beans, chickpeas, oxtail and chorizo into serving bowls. Ladle enough broth to cover and sprinkle with the eschalot mixture. Top with the marrow toasts and garnish with the baby radishes.
Paul Wilson
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