A soup made with a high collagen content is rich and silky, and thick enough that you won't need to add any starches. The reason I decided to do the beef tendon and oxtail together is so that I can make an initial pot of stock while softening the beef tendon, then use it in the stew. Oxtail by itself has a nice amount of collagen, but starting out with stock from the beef tendon makes this stew a solid at room temperature.
The funniest thing is that I keep seeing these "collagen supplements" in the store, and wonder: "Why bother?" Why bother indeed when that stuff comes with meat? In fact, the BEST sources of collagen is in the "gristle", you know, the stuff that PEOPLE THROW OUT when they cook? And then they buy it in little pills for ridiculous sums? WTF? Anyways, I don't know if eating collagen will really do all those wonderful things the hype claims, but I can promise that there's nothing like eating a rich, silky-smooth stew while watching the snow fall (and thinking very hard about not having to shovel later)
My instructable will kinda flip between the two recipes to show how everything is timed; but I will put the full list of ingredients and how everything is done at the beginning. Please don't use this recipe as a bible though, I tend to be whimsical while cooking, and will adjust the taste -often- during the cooking process. Typically, I would grab enough veggies to seem about right, and have some left over for my next endeavor.
Step 1: Step 0: Choosing the Meat
I usually buy the frozen beef tendon b/c it's easier to cut. Or at least chop.
The oxtail though, is a little more annoying. I prefer my stew to NOT have a layer of fat on it, so I look for some nice relatively lean cuts. I vastly prefer to go to the Green Market in Union Square to buy grass fed. Taste-wise in a rich stew like this, it doesn't matter -as much-. However, it tends to be a LOT leaner (gee, who'd'a thunk that animals that doesn't live in a tiny cubical would be leaner than one which doesn't move all day...) I usually grab my tendon from the same source.
Alas, this time I couldn't get my sorry ass in gear, so I just went to the local grocer instead.