Oxtail Soup - Definition and Recipes

Oxtail soup, although now regarded as a national English dish, was unknown in England prior to the abrogation of the Edict of Nantes, having been invented by the French Huguenot emigrants because of the cheapness, at that time, of the little used ox tail.

For Ten People.

  • Garnish the bottom of a small stock-pot or stew pan with one fine carrot and two medium-sized onions cut into roundels and browned in butter, and one faggot (1oz. of parsley, 1 bay leaf and a sprig of thyme).
  • Add two small ox-tails, or one of medium size weighing about four lbs. (The tails should be cut into sections, each of which should contain one of the caudal  vertebrae, and they should then be browned in the oven.)
  • Also add two lbs. of gelatinous bones, broken very small and likewise browned in the oven.
  • Place on open fire with two and one-half quarts of ordinary broth and one quart of water and allow to boil, skimming carefully and set to boil very gently for four and one-half or five hours.
  • This done, strain the broth, which should be reduced to two and one-half quarts, and completely remove its grease.
  • Transfer the largest sections of the tails, by means of a braiding-needle, one by one to another saucepan.
  • Cover them with broth, and keep them warm for the garnish.
  • Finely chop one lb. of very lean beef; put this mince into a saucepan with the white of a leek cut into dice and half the white of an egg, and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the broth, the grease of which has been removed, set to boil, stirring constantly the while, and then leave to simmer for one hour, which is the time required for the beef to exude all its juices and for the clarification of the broth.
  • While the clarification is in progress cut a small carrot in brunoise fashion, or turn it by means of a very small spoon.
  • Cook this garnish in a little water with butter, salt, and sugar.
  • A few minutes before serving strain the ox-tail broth through a napkin, put the sections of ox-tail and brunoise into the soup-tureen, and pour thereon the prepared broth.
  • This soup may be flavored with port or sherry, but this is optional.


  • Note-If a thickened ox-tail soup be required add to the broth per every quart of it one-third of an oz. of arrowroot diluted with a little of the broth or some cold water.
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