It’s fun to take my kid to the Chinese market. Instead of being grossed out by the unusual assortment of products and produce, the boy is delighted to see all of the different types of things that the Chinese market has to offer.
When I was a kid, I was often ashamed of the “weird” food that I ate at home cuz it wasn’t “American” or wasn’t American enough. But times have changed, and what once was considered weird is now considered haute cuisine. Luckily, my kid doesn’t seem to care what other peeps think about the food that he likes to eat. The boy seems to subscribe to the Andrew Zimmern school of thought: If it tastes good, then eat it.
At the Chinese market today, the boy and I were browsing the wares that the fishmonger and butcher had on display. The boy spied some oxtails and asked if they were any good. I told him that my mother makes a deloycious oxtail soup, and the boy asked me if I could make it for dinner tonight, so I did. It’s a hearty soup-slash-stew, and it’s super-easy to make. Here’s how:
- Dredge about three pounds of oxtails in some flour, then brown the oxtails in a bit of canola oil in a Dutch oven. When the oxtail pieces are browned, remove them from the pan and set aside.
- In the same Dutch oven, brown two medium onions (diced). When the onions are golden brown, stir in three tablespoons of tomato paste, then slowly add about three quarts of water.
- Return the browned oxtails to the Dutch oven, then add: two bay leaves, some thyme (fresh or dried), some parsley (fresh or dried), a coupla pieces of whole cloves, and a dollop of minced garlic. Add a coupla pinches of salt and a coupla grinds of black pepper to taste.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about two-and-a-half hours.
- Add a coupla potatoes (quartered) and a coupla handfuls of baby carrots, and let the soup simmer for an additional hour or so, or until the oxtails are fork tender (probably about three-and-a-half or four hours total).
- Voilà! Let the soup settle for 15 minutes or so, then spoon off the top layer of fat. Some peeps will remove the oxtails from the pan and extract the meat before serving the soup, but I can’t be bothered, so I just ladled the soup over a hunk of oxtail and served. It’s pretty good! You should try it!