Onion Oxtail Soup

D: Steph chose the recipe this week, going with the Onion Oxtail Soup. We both really like French Onion Soup, and Oxtail is always… well, different anyway. I also was pretty onboard with a) soup, and b) something that I can kind of just leave to cook, since I’m still coming off of a flu. So, onion soup with oxtail, let’s do this.


Onion Oxtail Soup###

  • 3lb yellow onions (2-3 large)
  • 2 TBsp kosher salt
  • 1 TBsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2lb beef oxtail (4 large)
  • 1 C red wine
  • 5 thyme sprigs, tied into a bundle
  • 1.5 quarts beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Groovy Gruyere Sticks###

  • 8oz grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 thin sourdough bread slices (about 1/4in thick)


  • Dutch Oven or other thick stock pot
  • Panini press or 2 cast iron pans



  • Heat oven to 300F
  • Halve and peel onions, slice to ~ 3mm thick and place in a bowl
  • Toss with 1TBsp of the salt, brown sugar and baking soda
  • Place onions in a colander over a bowl and let rest for 15 minutes, tossing occassionally
  • Place a 4qt dutch oven, or a stock pot over medium-high heat (high heat on a stock pot may burn, use care) for 5 minutes (or enough to heat)
  • Season the oxtails with 2tsp of the remaining salt and sear in the pot
  • Set oxtails aside after seared, but leave fat from cooking in the pot
  • Wring the onions out by pushing them down into the bottom of the colander
  • Sautee the onions in the pot, over medium-high heat until they brown, about 8 minutes
  • Add the wine and cook for a further 5 minutes
  • Place the oxtail meat and thyme bundle on top of the onions, pour in the broth (should cover)
  • Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven, simmer for 3-4 hours, until the oxtail is soft enough to pull apart easily
  • Remove the oxtails and thyme and set oxtails aside to cool
  • When cool enough to handle, separate the meat and chop or pull apart
  • Add meat back to the soup, bring to a summer before serving
  • Taste and adjust seasining with the remaining salt and black pepper

Gruyere Sticks###

  • Heat a panini press to high, or 2 cast iron pans to medium
  • Take 2 oz of the Gruyere and sprinkle it into 2 bread-shaped beds
  • Lay a piece of bread on each, top with another oz of cheese
  • Press, or place a second cast pan on top, for 1 minute
  • Remove to a cooling rack, repeate with other pieces
  • Once cool, cut into sticks and serve with soup


D: We need a dutch oven. Otherwise, the soup and sticks were very good. Salt content was fine, and we didn’t need to add the remaining salt. Has a bit of sweetness to it from the brown sugar and the onions; pretty much onion soup and oxtail soup, frankly it’s about what you would expect. Very good soup, I’ll make it again, we enjoyed it.