I went on vacation for two weeks at the beginning of November. I went and visited the city of Taipei, Taiwan! I had so much good yummy Chinese food while I was there. And when I came back home, I actually missed the Chinese food and wanted more! So in honor of my trip, I made some Oxtail Vegetable Soup over the weekend!
Now, I know Oxtail Soup is actually not just limited to Asian cuisine. It’s quite a common dish in Mexican, Scottish and German cuisine as well. Mexican markets are where I actually go and buy my oxtail butchered, it’s way cheaper. It’s like really tender shredded beef. It’s the weird shaped bone and occasional fatty sections that throw people off. A lot of restaurants take the meat off the bone and serve it that way. It makes people feel more comfortable about it.
This soup is hearty, warm and full of flavor. And I love making it when the weather starts to get chilly in the evenings. There are so many different variations and you can add all sorts of vegetables, beans and grains to the recipe to change it up. And it’s also low fat and healthy with just the right amount of vegetable, protein, fiber and carbs.
3-4 lbs. Oxtail (Butchered and sectioned. Small, Medium & Large sections are all great.)
2 Cups Baby Carrots or Chopped Carrots
4-5 Red Potatoes
2 Yellow Onions
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
1 Cup Rice or Wild Rice
2 Large Zucchinis
4 Roma Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
3 Cups Chicken Stock
2-3 Quarts Water
Salt & Pepper
What I like to do is pre-cook the oxtail in just plain water first for about 5 minutes in the pressure cooker. What this does is get all the grime and meat residue cooked off the meat and float in the water. It makes it easier to discard all that gunk so they aren’t floating around in the soup later. (See above photo for the the after image of the oxtail pre-cooked.)
Place all the oxtail into the pressure cooker pot. Add about 3 cups of filtered drinking water. Set the pressure cooker to cook for 5-minutes. Lock and load!!!
During this time, you can prepare all the vegetables. Peel the skin off the onions and chop off the ends, but leave the onions whole.
Cut the carrots into 1-inch sections or if they are baby carrots, just leave them alone.
Cut the potatoes in half and then quarter them. Keep the onions, carrots and potatoes together in a bowl to cook together later.
Peel and slice the zucchinis into 1-inch sections. Cut the tomatoes in half and quarter them as well. Keep the zucchinis and tomatoes together in a separate bowl for this will be cooked separately afterwards since they are considered the “delicate vegetables”.
When the pre-cooking of the oxtail is complete, release the pressure and remove the cooking pot. Drain all the water from inside and rinse the oxtail so all the gunk and grime is washed away.
Place the pot back into the pressure cooker. Throw in the whole onions, carrots and potatoes. Put in all the rice as well. Add the tomato paste and dry bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Fill it up with 2-3 quarts of filtered water and the 3 cups of chicken stock. Make sure not to over-fill the cooking pot. Lock and load baby! Program the pressure cooker to cook for 30-minutes. Since this is such a large pot of liquid, it may take a while to pressurize. Now you can go vacuum or something. Scratch that, let’s watch an episode of CSI instead! The carpet can wait.
When the cycle is complete, the pressure cooker will beep and go to keep warm automatically. Release the pressure by turning the valve on the top to Exhaust. Open the lid, while everything is still hot, add the zucchini and tomatoes and close the lid again. Let it sit for about 5-minutes to slightly cook these ‘delicate vegetables” so they don’t become mush. Don’t actually set the pressure cooker to cook, just let the remaining heat inside do its thing.
Once that is done, season to taste. Discard the bay leaves if you can find them. Serve while it’s hot, but not scalding hot in a nice soup bowl. Don’t burn your tongue! Because that’s exactly what I did cause I was so hungry!
On a side note, if you end up with leftovers and have to put it in the refrigerator overnight, the next day, all the oil and fat will float to the top and harden. You can easily spoon out that gunk and discard.
I had this soup for like the whole weekend and then some, and I swear I’ve lost like 5 pounds!!!