Introduction: Oxtail Soup

About: Environmentalist. Adventurer. Self-improvement seeker. Bourbon / black coffee drinker. Paleo, real food enthusiast with an inner fat kid fighting to get out.

I don’t like waste.

Wasting time. Wasting energy. Wasting money. Wasting food. All of ’em, not a fan.

As I’ve sought to eat only locally sourced humanely raised animal products, I’ve made sure not to let anything go to waste. Some cuts of sustainably raised meat are twice as much as their conventional distant cousins in the grocery store – but once you taste the difference and know the truth behind factory farmed meat, its not a price that leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

One way, however, that I have found to save money is to buy the less desirable cuts of meat. For some reason, it seems as if Americans don’t want to know that meat comes from an animal. They want their meat deboned and trimmed into a slab of protein that doesn’t resemble the source. These cuts of meat are more expensive.

Taking it even further, I seek out what a lot of people to think is completely weird. Livers, kidneys, hearth, feet, tongue, and tail. All these excellent animal products are absolutely delicious and have a complex flavor far different than a neatly trimmed stake – and who doesn’t enjoy some variety in their life?

As a bonus, many of these ‘unusual’ cuts of meat are jam packed with important vitamins and minerals, far beyond what you’ll find in that chicken breast.

Also, by eating these cuts of meat I am making sure that no part of the cow, chicken, pig, goat, sheep, or otherwise goes to waste. As I said, I don’t like waste.

I spent 7 year being a vegetarian, out of a love of animals. Now, I eat meat but still love animals just as much. I want to make sure that the animal lived a good life and then I plan to honor it by using every delicious and different part.

The following recipe uses oxtail to make a rich and flavor packed soup. So, step out of your comfort zone, try something new, stop wasting, and eat up.

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Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

  • 1 lb oxtail
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup leek, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 pinches sea salt
  • 4 cranks of fresh ground pepper
  • olive oil

Step 2: Preheat

Preheat oven to 300ºF

Bring 2 tbsp olive oil to a medium heat in a dutch oven on the stove top

Step 3: Prep and Cook

Clean, peel, and chop carrots, celery, and leek and add to heated dutch oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until they all become tender.

Step 4: Brown Oxtail

While the carrots, celery, and leek are cooking, brown oxtail in 1 tbsp olive oil on a cast iron skillet (or dutch oven lid). Once browned, add to dutch oven.

Step 5: Add Remaining Ingredients to Dutch Oven

Step 6: Place in Pre-heated Oven

Place the lid on the dutch oven and move the dutch oven to the preheated oven. Allow the oxtail soup to cook for five hours. Yes, five hours. You really want to slowly break down the oxtail and make sure it is tender.