Waste not want not

Now that it’s colder, I’ve gotten into slow cooking.  I remember episodes from Andrew Zimmern’s show Bizarre Foods where he explains that in many cultures outside the U.S., people use every part of the animal and that nothing goes to waste.  I have to admit, eating internal organs isn’t something I’m accustomed to, but now that I think about it, I do have a standby recipe for oxtail soup.  The only stores that sell oxtail are Chinese supermarkets and this Middle Eastern market not too far from where I live.

Oxtail soup is amazingly simple to make.  There’s hardly any work on your part.  You just chop up a few vegetables and braise the oxtail for about 4 hours.  After all that braising, you’re left with a flavorful and mildly sweet beef broth with very tender oxtail meat and cartlidge.  It’s a perfect warming soup for this cooler weather.



Here’s the recipe for 4-6:


2 pounds of oxtail
3 medium size carrots
2 large onions
sea salt

Peel and slice the carrots and cut into thirds.  Remove skins from onions and cut into quarters.  Place vegetables and oxtail into a dutch oven and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for four hours until the meat from the oxtail is nearly falling off the bone.   Skim off the fat and season with sea salt. Serve hot with a bowl of rice.  It’s best to make this the day before and let the flavors settle and let the fat solidify for easier removal.


3 responses to “Waste not want not

  1. I’ve never been able to get on board with oxtail. What can I say? I’m a very limited person.

  2. I’m becoming more adventerous about body parts from cows. I saw Anthony Bourdain chowing down on bone marrow and it looked so good!

  3. In my country, we eat almost every part of the cows: the brain, the skin, the internal organs (the intestines, the heart, the lungs, the spleen). Infact we have many delicious dishes made from these ‘bizarre’ foods. Even somethings ‘bizarre’ by Andrew Zimmerns standard, by us it’s common. In one of my posts (Love Hate Relationship) I mentioned about Soto Betawi, a kind of soup which made of the internal organs of cows. BTW, your oxtail soup looks delicious. The way we make oxtail soup is quite similar but we use more ingredients.

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