Have I told you that I-heart-beef? Well, I do. And that includes this oxtail soup. Yes, the tail. Despite how small and meatless it looks on the cow, it really makes a great soup.
So this is the deal about cooking the tails. If you want a cleaner soup (with less fat), there are 2 methods you can do:
1. Boil them, cool the soup, and keep in fridge for overnight to let the fat excess forms a hard fat layer on the surface. This will enable you to skim the fat off easily from the soup.
2. This one also comes from Holy at Beyond Kimchee. Boil the tails for a while and discard the water. Then, you can pour in new batch of water, boil the tails again, and continue cooking.
Either way, add the spices after you`re done with cleaning the soup.
I, however, want to make the whole process to be speedier. I never did either of those cleaning up process. Maybe next time I`d use Holy`s method.
If you choose method no 1, or just like what I did (aka. no fat-removal), you can start the cooking process from here. Brown them to get the caramelized bits.
I`ve heard people grill the tails to avoid frying, but I choose to pan-grill them without oil. Quicker.
Let the meaty surface gets caramelized.
And put them in a pressure cooker.
Next, saute onion, garlic, and ginger to bring out the fragrance. I love my soup to have a bit of gingery kick, but you can skip it of course.
Put the sauteed spices in the pressure cooker with the tails. Then, pour in water just enough to cook them through. Not too much, though. You can always thin out the soup later after "pressing" them.
Close the cooker`s lid and cook it for 30 mins with the heat on. Or don`t listen to me. Referring to your manual is the right thing to do.
After it`s done cooking and the pressure has been completely released out, open the lid. Check if the meat has fallen off the bones or if it can be easily pulled out with a fork. Cook it some more if you need to. There`s no such thing as overcooking the tails. They`ll just get better and better.
(Pretend you can see a picture of cooked tail in a pot)
Veggie time. Throw in carrots. Please don`t say you hate them. They`re one of the most wonderful things in the world.
I usually add potatoes, but this time I went for radish instead. Less carb was the reason. Ahem.
And one last important ingredient for the umami. Tomatoes. You`ll be happier with them in the soup.
Close the cooker`s lid and cook it again for another 5-10 mins. When the carrot and radish got tender enough, season the soup with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. No need sugar this time because the carrot and radish are good enough to balance the savoriness.Thin it out with water if you need to.
Get a bowl and ladle the soup in. Oh, you must, really really must try this soup. Devour it using spoon, fork, and your hand(s). Definitely not the most elegant table manner because oxtail soup is wild!
Salt and pepper