Oxtail Soup

One of my most favorite comfort foods in fall was my mom's oxtail soup.  Feeding a family of nine, she did whatever she could to cook on a budget and still feed us well.  Back then, oxtails were the poor man's meat. Today, they are an expensive treat. And well worth the money.

Rich, dark veal stock or beef broth makes this hearty soup simply delicious without any embellishment, but you can also add carrots, celery and onion as a flavorful base.  Mushrooms would also be a nice addition. Toss in a small handful of grains, such as farro,  or whip up a batch of home-made dumpling dough that will get dolloped on top, steaming until puffed up and ready from the steam of the broth.

I don't have my mom's recipe, but I winged it pretty well.
Here's my version of this fall comfort food feast:

Oxtail Soup

1 pound oxtails 
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
4 cups veal stock or beef broth 
pinch of Porcini & Parsley savory salt 

In a large cassarole dish  or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
Place the oxtails in the pan and sear on all sides until the meat is browned and caramelized.
Add the stock or broth and cook, covered, until the meat is tender and the broth is 
reduced, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  The meat should fall off the bones and the broth should be infused with the flavor of the meat. 

Buon appetito! copyright 2011 Alisa Barry

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