Roasted Oxtail and Barley Soup

Oxtail is not actually from an ox anymore. It is beef. When it is braised properly, it is very similar to the consistency of short rib; tender, moist and practically melts in your mouth. This soup is meant to be very rustic so that each serving will have one or two pieces of oxtail that will still be attached to the bone, similar to the way veal or lamb shank is typically served.


  • 6 lbs of Beef oxtail
  • 2 TBSP Bacon fat, or high heat oil
  • 2 Large Onions peeled, diced
  • 4 Carrots peeled, chopped small
  • 8 Stalks Celery chopped small
  • 8 cloves of garlic (slivered)
  • 2 Cups Dry White Wine
  • 3 Qts of Meat Stock
  • 2 TBSP Tomato paste
  • Fresh Rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley (chopped)
  • 2 Cups Barley cooked
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Season with salt and roast oxtail pieces at 500F until you’ve attained some good caramelization; about 20-30 minutes.
2. Cut your onions, celery and carrots to a ½ inch dice and set aside. In the soup pot, sauté your vegetables on high heat with some oil until they start to brown. Turn down the heat and add your slivered garlic and tomato paste. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, then add wine and simmer for five minutes.
3. Add your stock and bring to a simmer.
4. When your oxtail pieces have finished roasting, remove from the oven and add to the soup. This includes the fat and pan drippings from your roasting pan!
5. Simmer until oxtail becomes fork tender; roughly four to five hours. Add your chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Add a serving of cooked barley to each bowl.

Note: There is no measurement for the herbs and seasoning because that would be your preference based on your taste. I used about 3 sprigs of rosemary, 10-12 sprigs of thyme leaves, and about a ¼ cup of loosely packed fresh, chopped oregano and parsley.

There will be some fat (as this is a fatty cut of meat) which can be skimmed off with a ladle, or, wait until the soup is cold, and remove if that is your preference.

I prefer to add the barley to each serving as opposed to cooking in the soup. This way it will maintain its texture especially since the soup will likely be re-heated and served again.


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