Making my first oxtail soup

Any advice?

I’m looking at this recipe, but a Thai version would be welcome as well.

The diners are adventurous and well-travelled eaters, including a West Indian. No fears of spices, heat, hard to find or new ingredients are fine.

I make a very simple version of unknown national origin. Simmer the oxtail in water for hours with some salt, and towards the end add carrots, potatoes, and diced tomatoes. I think I occasionally add some onions. Nothing fancy but satisfying in the winter.


I myself would add onions and ginger at the beginning, and leave out the sugar. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

This is what I like to make when I have oxtail…more of a stew but really tasty.

Honestly, oxtail is so awesome that I don’t think you can go wrong. I do often like tomato versions like sck and coll have mentioned. However, non-tomato based can be great too. Any beef soup recipes can be turned into an oxtail soup in my opinion.

Aren’t “Oxtails’ really just beef cattle tails? My butcher told me this.

Yes, and they’re much more expensive than they used to be. Oxtails are awesome but I tend to use beef neckbones instead because they’re similar, being from further up the spinal column. But you get a bigger chunk of marrow with the tails of course, and that’s worth the difference sometimes.

1 Like

Not just the marrow. I really like the gelatin/cartilage

1 Like

The sugar browning is an essential part of the West Indian oxtail process (or you can buy browning sauce). It was sort of messy.

I am now at the simmering stage and I taste a burnt bitterness to the broth. I added beef broth and more white sugar to the liquids to try to counteract that bitterness. I am hoping that will be muted once the tails break down and the marrow and cartilage flavor come in.

Any thoughts appreciated from you or any others, please? We don’t intend to eat until this evening (in about 4 hours)

Why are they getting expensive fast? It seems the price was half of what it is now only a few years ago.

I got mine from a hispanic market and yes, they were pricey. $7.89 per lb.

I try to avoid added sugar in food because I am a cantankerous malcontent. And I do not appreciate sweet tastes. That said, I have never found the food in Vietnamese or Chinese restaurants too sweet.

If you have burnt the sugar to the extent that it lends a bad taste to the dish, I fear that you can’t really do anything about it. In general, if you burn something in a pot or pan, the first thing to do is transfer the unburnt food to another pot or pan so that the whole thing does not take on the burnt taste.

First time doing that burnt sugar thing. I feel I followed the recipe which tells you it should be black. Just had my West Indian guy taste it and he asked if I added ketchup (not yet). He said not to worry. But of course I am.

I hope it turns out to your liking!

It actually says “near black” in the recipe you posted above. Sounds like you have overdone it a touch. , When I burn sugar (forgotten about it a couple times while I was doing other things), I usually toss it and start over. Hopefully the ketchup helps.

They’ve been discovered, like beef short ribs and lamb shanks - they’re used much more in fine dining establishments in things like osso bucco than they were twenty years ago.

1 Like

Same thing happened with chicken wings a few years ago. No one really ate them, and then all of a sudden everyone wanted them.

Turned out good yesterday but AMAZING today. The marrow and the bread I am eating with it has mellowed out the bitterness. Next time though I will use less sugar when doing the browning step.

Congratulations! But instead of using less sugar, perhaps you shouldn’t let it get so dark?bb