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Thick oxtail and lentil soup

  • 15 minutes
  • 2-3 hours
  • 8-10
Thick oxtail and lentil soup

Oxtail is underapprciated but it really packs a flavourful punch. Use it in a wholesome soup to ward off any lingering winter chills.


  • 1 kilogram oxtail
  • 3 litres water or beef stock (use stock cubes)
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and halved
  • 1 bouquet garni, optional
  • Soup
  • 100 grams butter
  • 2 rashers rindless bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1-2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • ½ cup chopped celery leaves


  1. Heat a good dash of oil in a frying pan and brown the oxtail pieces well over a high heat. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the beef stock, unpeeled carrots and onion and bouquet garni if using and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, half cover with hte lid and simmer for 1½-2 hours or unitl the oxtail is very tender and the meat easily falls from the bones.
  2. Lift out the oxtail, cover and set aside. Strain, reserving the stock liquid. Discard the onion, carrot and bouquet garni.
  3. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and cook the diced bacon, onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 2-3 minutes only until fragrant. Add the flour and cook for 1 minutes, stirring regularly until frothy. Gradually stir in the tomato paste, reserved stock and lentils. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until the lentils have softened.
  4. Pull the meat from the oxtail and stir into the soup with the celery leaves. Season and garnish with parsley before serving.

Cooks Tips

- As oxtail has a high amount of fat, bone and connective tissue, it needs long, slow, moist cooking to become meltingly tender. Do not boil oxtail, only ever simmer - and very gently. It is an ideal cut to cook in the slow cooker or crock pot.

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