Oxtail Soup

This rich in taste soup will truly warm your soul on a cold winter day. It takes some time to prepare, but during the cold and uncomfortable winters of Berlin there are usually many weekend days on which I do not feel like leaving the coziness of my own flat anyway – so there are usually plenty of opportunities to while the time away with some cooking.




  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dices
  • 2 large stalks of celery, washed and cut into small dices
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 oxtail (cut into approximately 2 cm thick slices)
  • freshly ground pepper, salt
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 100 ml of Madeira
  • 100 ml of sherry
  • 400 ml of beef stock
  • 400 ml of water
  • 4 branches of thyme
  • 6 juniper berry (slightly pressed with the back of a spoon so they open up)
  • 1 bay leave
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 allspice corns (slightly pressed with the back of a spoon so they open up)


  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepot (medium to high heat).
  2. Sear the oxtail pieces from all sides and season with salt and pepper. Take out of the  pot and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Fry the onion until soft (make sure they do not brown too much), add the carrots, celery and the garlic clove. Roast for approximately 10 minutes on low to medium heat. Every now and then, stir and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the saucepot.
  4. Add the tomato paste and roast for 1 to 2 minutes as well.
  5. Deglaze with Madeira. Let reduce almost entirely.
  6. Add the sherry and let reduce as well.
  7. Add the meat, the beef stock and the water.
  8. Let simmer with the lid closed for approximately 3 hours on low heat.
  9. Every now and then, remove fat and unclear bits from the top.
  10. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the thyme leaves from the stem, chop roughly and add to the soup together with the juniper berries, bay leave, cloves and allspice corns.
  11. At the end of the cooking time, remove the meat from the pot and pass the soup through a sieve lined with a cheesecloth into another saucepot.
  12. Add the meat and heat up again briefly. If necessary, reduce further to obtain a rich meaty taste. Serve hot.


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