Overhead shot of a bowl of oxtail soup garnished with slices of carrot and fresh parsley, accompanied by a silver spoon, slices of tomato, fresh bread, fresh parsley, and a slice of bread with salami and chili pepper
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Oxtail Soup

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Low and slow makes for the best Oxtail Soup with fall off the bone oxtail meat in a broth full of flavor and packed with veggies. Made on the stovetop the old-fashioned way!

Who says soups are only good during winter? I could have this Oxtail Soup any time of the year! The broth is RICH, made with tender oxtail, full of veggies, and seasoned with all the right spices. However, oxtail stew is not a “done in no time” kind of meal – you’ve got to give it some love and time – low and slow is the way to go here. Rush it, and you’ll be chewing on tough meat. But as long as you’re patient, you’re all set!

Overhead shot of a bowl of oxtail soup, accompanied by a silver spoon, fresh bread, fresh parsley, and two glass containers with seasonings

Feeding my lively bunch without emptying my wallet is always the goal, and let me tell you, this oxtail soup recipe is perfect for that. Oxtail might not be the first thing you reach for at the grocery store, but it really is an overloooked cut of meat. And even though oxtail isn’t your everyday lemon chicken or sheet pan burger, it wins over the family every time with its surprisingly kid-friendly taste. And guess what? The kids dive into it just as eagerly as they would a plate of spaghetti.

Oxtail Soup Overview

Cuisine Inspiration: Global Fusion
Number of Ingredients: 14 (excluding salt & pepper)
Feeds: A family of 6+
Total Cook Time: 12 Hours
Primary Cooking Method: Simmering
Dietary Info: Protein-rich and full of nutrients!
Key Flavor: Meaty, savory, rich and hearty
Skill Level: Intermediate

Notable mentions

  • Simple and Cheap Ingredients: This oxtail stew has got more ingredients than my usual quick-fix meals, but you can get everything from your nearest grocery store, and none of it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg. A HUGE plus when you’re trying to feed a crowd on a budget.
  • Perfect for Feeding a Crowd: Got a big crew to feed? This oxtail soup recipe’s got you covered! It makes a hefty pot of soup, so everyone gets their fill without fights breaking out over the last spoonful.
  • Comfort in a Bowl: For me, it’s the ultimate dish for a laid-back Sunday with the fam! It’s not just the warmth it brings but also the depth of flavor that comes from the blend of veggies and oxtail slowly simmered together.
  • Fun With the Kids: If your little ones wanna help out, this is the perfect recipe to get them started. They can get hands-on with chopping the veggies (with a little help, of course) and peeling potatoes.
Overhead shot of a bowl of oxtail soup garnished with slices of carrot and fresh parsley
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Oxtail Soup

Low and slow makes for the best Oxtail Soup with fall off the bone oxtail meat in a broth full of flavor and packed with veggies. Made on the stovetop the old-fashioned way!
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Author Jackie
Servings 8 people
Course Main Course
Calories 547
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 7 hours
Cook Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 11 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds oxtails
  • 8 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • large onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 chili chopped
  • 2 large potatos cubed
  • 2 bell peppers chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • handful of fresh herbs like parsley or thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a sturdy pot, brown the oxtails in oil until they’re caramelized. Drain the excess grease, and then toss in 1/4 of the carrots, bay leaf, allspice, and some herbs. Add water or broth, cover, and let it simmer on a low for about 3 to 3.5 hours.
  • Once done, remove the pot from the heat and let the oxtails cool, about 1 hour. Chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours (or overnight) until the fat rises and has solidified.
  • Skim off the hardened fat from the top. Reheat the oxtails in their broth until warm.
  • Remove the oxtails, pick the meat off, discard the bones, and chop the meat into bite-sized chunks. Strain the broth and drop in the potato cubes to simmer.
  • Slice the rest of the carrots, chop the bell peppers, chili, onion, and garlic. Sauté these in a pan until soft and golden.
  • Stir in the tomato paste with the veggies and cook for another few minutes, then unite everything with the simmering broth. Let it cook for 40 minutes.
  • Near the end, whisk corn starch with 4 tablespoons of cold water, and stir this into the stew to thicken it. Boil briefly, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly chopped herbs and your choice of bread or veggies on the side.

Notes

  • Trimmed Oxtails: When you’re picking out your oxtails, try to get them well-trimmed. A little fat is good for flavor, but too much can overwhelm the soup. Don’t be shy – ask your butcher to trim them for you!
  • Skim the Fat: After the initial long simmer and chilling in the fridge, take the time to spoon off the excess fat. If you skip this step, your soup will end up super greasy rather than hearty and delicious.
  • Let It Rest: Giving your oxtail soup some time to sit after it’s done cooking (and before you dive in) allows the flavors to meld together even more.
  • Low and Slow: Can’t stress this enough – keep the flame low! Cranking up the heat might seem like a good way to speed things up, but it’ll just make the meat tough and chewy.
Nutritional information has been calculated using water, not vegetable broth.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cup, Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 55g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 187mg, Sodium: 406mg, Potassium: 455mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 3629IU, Vitamin C: 61mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Ingredient Breakdown For Oxtail Soup

  • Oxtails: They are what make the broth in this soup so incredibly rich and flavorful. If you’ve never cooked with them before, you can find them at most grocery stores. Just pick them up at the meat section.
  • Water or Vegetable Broth: This is your base. Water’s fine because the oxtails have got flavor covered, but veggie broth gives a little extra something from the start.
  • Vegetable Oil: For cooking the oxtails until they get all nice and brown.
  • Garlic: It’s garlic – it makes everything better. Mince it and in it goes.
  • Onions & Carrots: ESSENTIAL for that homey soup taste. Chop ’em up and toss ’em in. Easy.
  • Tomato Paste: This deepens the flavor with a bit of richness and tang. A little can go a loooong way.
  • Corn starch: To thicken this old fashioned oxtail soup up.
  • Chili: For a bit of heat. Like it spicy? Keep it in. Not so much? Leave it out.
  • Potato & Bell Pepper: They bulk up the soup, making it filling and adding some nice colors and textures to the mix.
  • Bay Leaf: Throw this in with your simmering oxtails. It adds a nice layer of flavor!
  • Allspice: Just a pinch for some warm, spicy undertones. It’s subtle, but makes a difference.
  • Fresh Parsley or Thyme: Sprinkle this on before you serve for a fresh, herby boost.
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste. Add what feels right to you!
Overhead shot of ingredients to make oxtail soup on the table before cooking

See How Oxtail Soup Is Made Step by Step Photos

  1. In a sturdy pot, brown the oxtails in oil until they’re caramelized. Drain the excess grease, and then toss in 1/4 of the carrots, bay leaf, allspice, and some herbs. Add water, cover, and let it simmer on a low flame for about 3 to 3.5 hours. Cool it down and chill in the fridge overnight. The fat will rise and solidify.
  2. The next day, skim off the hardened fat from the top. Reheat the oxtails in their broth until warm. Remove the oxtails, pick the meat off, discard the bones, and chop the meat into bite-sized chunks. Strain the broth and drop in the potato cubes to simmer.
  3. Slice the rest of the carrots, chop the bell peppers, chili, onion, and garlic. Sauté these in a pan until soft and golden.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste with the veggies and cook for another few minutes, then unite everything with the simmering broth. Let it cook for 40 minutes. Near the end, whisk flour with half a cup of cold water, and stir this into the stew to thicken it. Boil briefly, then season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly chopped herbs and your choice of bread or veggies on the side.
A step by step image collage on how to make oxtail soup with cooking the oxtail, picking the meat off the oxtail, adding the rest of ingredients, adding the tomato paste, and cooking everyting

What your oxtail Soup should look like when done

Closeup of a bowl of oxtail soup, accompanied by a silver spoon and fresh bread
  • Swap the Protein: You can use other beef cuts like short ribs or beef shank. They still bring that beefy richness to the broth and get super tender when cooked low and slow.
  • Crank Up the Heat: Heat lovers, I hear you. Kick this soup up a notch with an extra diced jalapeño or a sprinkle of chili powder.
  • Add Some Cream: For a creamier texture, stir in a few spoons of heavy cream right before you’re ready to serve. It’ll make the soup richer and silkier.
  • Asian-Inspired Flavors: If you’re into Asian flavors, try adding a few tablespoons of fish sauce or a splash of rice wine vinegar. It’ll give the broth a unique, tangy depth that’s super tasty.
  • Smoky Notes: Want a smokier flavor? Toss in some bits of smoked bacon or ham. That’s it!
  • Veggie Variety: Feel free to mix in more veggies like chopped celery stalks or even chunks of corn on the cob (my favorite addition!).

Tips for making the best old fashioned oxtail soup

  1. Trimmed Oxtails: When you’re picking out your oxtails, try to get them well-trimmed. A little fat is good for flavor, but too much can overwhelm the soup. Don’t be shy – ask your butcher to trim them for you!
  2. Skim the Fat: After the initial long simmer and chilling in the fridge, take the time to spoon off the excess fat. If you skip this step, your soup will end up super greasy rather than hearty and delicious.
  3. Let It Rest: Giving your oxtail soup some time to sit after it’s done cooking (and before you dive in) allows the flavors to meld together even more.
  4. Low and Slow: Can’t stress this enough – keep the flame low! Cranking up the heat might seem like a good way to speed things up, but it’ll just make the meat tough and chewy.

How to store & reheat Oxtail Soup

Just pop your Oxtail Soup leftovers in an airtight container and into the fridge it goes. To reheat, you can either give it a zap in the microwave in 30-second intervals (stirring in between) or warm it up in a pot over medium heat.

How long will Oxtail Soup last in the fridge?

This soup’s like a fine wine – it gets better with time. Well, up to a point. Stored properly in the fridge, your Oxtail Soup will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days.

Can I freeze this easy oxtail recipe?

This soup freezes really well! Just let it cool down after cooking, then transfer it to freezer-safe bags or containers. Squeeze out as much air as you can, and stash it in the freezer. It will keep for about 2 to 3 months.

Whenever you’re ready for a cozy, hearty bowl of soup, just defrost it in the fridge overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave, then reheat using one of the methods above.

What to serve with Oxtail Soup

  • Bread or Cornbread: Dunking bread into this soup is a must! You can’t go wrong with a crusty baguette or some warm sourdough slices. Cornbread also soaks up all the yumminess of this soup, I love a good hot water cornbread or a jiffy cornbread.
  • Rice: My favorite? You already know – cilantro lime rice. I’ve also served it with jasmine rice and butter rice, both are great choices.
  • Light Salads: After a few spoonfuls of that rich soup, you’re gonna want something on the lighter side – so throw together a quick salad! Mixed greens, sliced tomatoes, chopped onions, and a simple lemon vinaigrette. Pure perfection.
Overhead shot of a bowl of oxtail soup garnished with slices of carrot and fresh parsley, accompanied by a silver spoon, fresh bread, fresh parsley, two glass containers with seasonings, and a slice of bread with salami and chili pepper

Frequently asked questions

Can I make Oxtail Soup in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

You sure can! For a slow cooker, just follow the browning step on the stove first, then transfer everything into the slow cooker and let it do its thing on low for about 8 hours. In an Instant Pot, you can brown the meat right in the pot using the sauté function, then switch to the pressure cook setting and cook under high pressure for about 45 minutes. Both ways are great for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat!

How do I know my oxtails are cooked?

If you’re poking around and it still feels tough, give it more time. It has to feel tender to the touch. Oxtails are forgiving, so a bit longer on a low simmer will only make them better.

Do i have to brown the oxtails before cooking?

Technically, no, browning the oxtails isn’t mandatory – but I highly suggest doing it. It caramelizes the surface of the meat, which really amps up the depth and savoriness of your soup.

Isn’t it amazing how a pot of this Oxtail Soup can feel like a bear hug? Those oxtails, seasoned and seared to perfection, then left to simmer until they’re fall-apart tender, mingling with all those hearty veggies… It’s the kind of meal that keeps the whole family cozy and satisfied!

More Easy Soup and Stew recipes:

I want to hear from you! If you try this easy Oxtail Soup recipe or any other of my easy recipes for big families on Dinner in 5, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I read all the comments and respond!

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