Clear Oxtail Soup

Potage de Queue de Bœuf clair

Method

Take an oxtail that has hung for a day or two, cut it into neat pieces, and place them in cold water in a stewpan with a pinch of salt; stand the stewpan on the stove and bring to the boil, then strain and wash the tail in cold water, and put it again into the stewpan with some gravy stock. If it is a large tail it will require three or four quarts of stock, one or two carrots, one turnip, one leek, three or four onions, a few pieces of celery, a little parsnip, and a bunch of herbs, six or eight peppercorns, six cloves, two blades of mace, and four Jamaica peppercorns all tied up in a piece of muslin; bring to the boil gently, and let it all cook together from three and a half to four hours. (This soup is better if prepared the day before it is to be clarified.) When cooked, strain off the stock, pick out the pieces of meat, remove any fat from the stock and clarify it; then strain and pour it into a stewpan, and to each quart of soup add one dessertspoonful of the best arrowroot, previously smoothly mixed with a wineglass of sherry, or the same of clarified stock; stir till it boils, then put in the pieces of meat, garnish with parsley picked and blanched and some vegetables such as carrot, turnip, &c., cut out with a plain pea-cutter and blanched, and cooked till tender.

Any pieces of the tail not required for the soup will make a nice dish for lunch or dinner, either curried, or served with brown sauce and a macedoine of vegetables, or the vegetables from the soup cut in dice shapes.

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