Melt half the butter in a frying-pan and fry the oxtail. As the pieces brown, lift them out and put them in a large saucepan. Fry the vegetables in the same butter and add them to the meat. Add the cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Fill up with water (you will need about
When the oxtail is cooked, melt the remaining butter in another saucepan and stir in the flour. Allow the roux to brown slightly but do not let it burn. Stir the boiling broth from the oxtail into the roux
Lift out the meat and separate the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and put the meat back into the pan. Pour the thickened stock back on to the meat and vegetables and add the sherry, if used. Serve the soup very hot.