Oxtail broth

In this recipe vegetables and meat are gently fried in oil before the water is added. This gives the broth extra flavour and a rich brown color. Because oxtail is inclined to be very fatty it is important to remove as much fat as possible after cooking. It is therefore best to chill the broth completely so that all the fat solidifies .and can be lifted off the soup.

SERVES 4 - 1 oxtail, weighing about 700 g [1½ Ib]
- 1 large onion
- 1 small turnip
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 cloves
- 15 ml [1 tablespoon] vegetable oil
- salt
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 small carrots
- 15 ml [1 tablespoon] parsley

1. Rinse the oxtail under cold running water and shake dry. Using a sharp knife, divide it into joints and remove fat.

2. Scrub the vegetables, halve the onion and turnip and Chop the celery into four pieces. Stud the onion with the cloves.

3. Warm the oil in a large flameproof casserole or saucepan over medium heat.

4. When the oil is hot add the vegetables and fry, turning, until lightly browned all over.

Oxtail broth 5. Add the oxtail pieces to the pan and fry until browned.

6. Pour on 1.15L [2 pt] cold water and bring to the boil.

7. Remove scum and fat with a skimmer or perforated spoon.

8. Reduce heat and add some salt peppercorns and bay leaf. Cover pan with a well-fitting lid and simmer gently for 3 hours.

9. Strain the broth through a colander into a large bowl. Discard the vegetables and seasonings and transfer the bones to a plate.

10. Using a fork or knife, remove the meat from the bones. Discard bones, fat and any gristle.

11. Reserve half the meat for another dish. Cut the remainder into bite-sized pieces.

12. When the shreds of meat are cold, put them into a rigid airtight container and refrigerate until required.

13. Cover the broth when cool and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

14 Lift the cold fat from the surface of the broth and discard. Turn the broth into a pan and reheat gently.

15. Peel and trim the carrots and cut them into matchstick-sized pieces (called julienne strips).

16. Add the shreds of meat and julienne strips to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes.

17. Chop the parsley and garnish the broth before serving.
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