They should be sent from the butcher ready jointed. Soak and wash them well, cut them into joints or into lengths of two or three joints, and cover them with cold broth or water. As soon as they boil remove the scum, and add a half-teaspoonful of salt or as much more as may be needed, and a little common pepper or cayenne, an onion stuck with half a dozen cloves, two or three small carrots, and a branch or two of parsley. When these have simmered for two hours and a quarter, try the meat with a fork, and should it not be perfectly tender, let it remain over the fire until it is so. Ox-tails sometimes require nearly or quite three hours’ stewing: they may be served with the vegetables, or with the gravy strained from them, and thickened like the English stew of the present chapter.