Friday 2 December 2016

Oxtail soup ... the ultimate winter warmer

It's turned really chilly here in London. The days are bright and clear, with blue skies and sunshine, but once the sun goes down it gets s-o-o-o cold.

At this time of the year, as the nights draw and the cold strengthens, I turn to hearty food: soups and stews are the things I want to cook most. And there's nothing better on a cold winter's night than a steaming bowl of oxtail soup. It is the ultimate, luscious, warming, comfort food. Mine gets cooked all day in the slow cooker, filling the house with its tantalising smell. By nightfall the meat is falling off the bone, and the liquid is a rich, deep chocolatey brown ... ambrosia in a soup bowl!

Given that there are only three bears who usually sit down at my table every night, this recipe has been calculated to feed three people. You can big it up if you've got more folk to feed. Just read on for my recipe:

Oxtail soup

Ealing Common in yesterday's winter sunshine

Ingredients for 3 people:

3, large-ish cross-cuts of tail with the bone intact (one for each person) - about 750 g of oxtail
1 medium onion
1 stick of celery
2 medium carrots
1 bouquet garni
400g chopped tomatoes
1 litre of good beef stock
1 can of Guinness (440 ml)
2 tablespoonfuls of Mushroom Ketchup
Few tablespoonfuls of plain flour

Ealing Common in yesterday's wintery sunshine


1. Wash, peel and dice the vegetables.
2. Season the flour and toss the oxtail meat in it.
3. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the meat over a high heat until it has browned all over. This will help seal in the flavour.
4. Using a slatted spoon, remove the meat and place in the slow cooker.
5. Gently fry the diced vegetables in the frying pan, and add to the slow cooker.
6. Add the bouquet garni.
7. Pour over the Guinness, beef stock, tinned tomatoes and mushroom ketchup.
8. Mix everything well and season. Put the lid on and cook on high for about 5 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.
9. Before serving remove the bones, and shred the meat.

Stay warm and have a wonderful weekend,

Bonny x 

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