Oxtail Soup

Tom Parker Bowles slow-cooks this British classic for a deep and rich flavour
By Tom Parker Bowles
Oxtail Soup
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus overnight chilling
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 large oxtail, fat trimmed, cut into pieces
  • 60 g butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, stuck with 3 cloves
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 2.5 litres water
  • 4 tbsp sherry


1. Brown the oxtail in the butter and oil in a large casserole pan. Add the vegetables and toss in the cooking juices.

2. Add the peppercorns, bouquet garni and water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and cover the pan. Turn the heat right down and simmer until the meat is really tender and falling off the bones. This can take up to 3 hours.

3. Strain into a bowl. Cool the cooking liquor, cover and put in the fridge.

4. Discard the vegetables and bone. Divide the meat into small pieces and discard the fat and skin. Season the meat and store overnight in the fridge.

5. The next day, remove the fat from the top of the jellified cooking liquor. Mix in a pan with meat and bring to just below boiling. If it needs thickening, mix a little flour into paste with a splash of the liquid, pour back in and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sherry and serve.

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