This is my second post about traditional Hungarian recipes, following the previous Harcsapaprikás 🙂
This time it’s about a soup, the ox tail soup (Ököruszály leves in Hungarian).
Well, that’s what was usually used in the past, when oxen were used as working animals and there were more of them, nowadays they are less and less so in most of cases beef tail is used. But the recipe kept the original name 🙂
I like this kind of recipes where all the part of an animal are used, I mean the ones that nowadays relatively few people look for, in this case the tail (HERE you can see another very good recipe made with this cut). Actually very often those parts/cuts are the most tasty, and the fact that are usually cheaper makes them always a good choice.
But I see that recipes like this one are “coming back”, and especially in the good Hungarian restaurants you can often find them in the menus.
This recipe it’s not difficult, it just takes the right time to make it.
It has a very rustic look, and what’s important it’s very good!
INGREDIENTS (4-6 people):
- 1 ox/beef tail, about 1-1,2 Kg
- 3 big carrots
- 2 celery ribs
- 1 small celeriac
- 1 parsnip
- 1 potato
- half kohlrabi (German turnip)
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1 “sarga paprika” (it’s a Hungarian pepper)
- 1 tomato
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 big onion, with its skin (that’s how my wife’s grandmother used to do)
- 2-3 bay leaves
- black pepper, grains
- 3,5 liters of water
- chives to garnish (or parsley if you prefer)
- pasta for soups
- First of all cut the tail in pieces, or ask your butcher to do it. Then wash it under running water, and dry it.
- Take a pot, add enough cold water to cover the meat and start to pre-boil the tail, for about 10 minutes from the moment the water starts boiling. With this step we will remove the impurities. After that time throw away that water and take out the meat.
- In the same pot add about 3,5 liters of cold water, the meat and the vegetables: the onion just wash it but leave the peel (that’s how my wife’s grandmother used to do), the other vegetables also the whole: just peel them, and remove the seeds from the pepper. Add also the whole parsley, the cloves of garlic, the bay leaves and the black pepper grains, and start to boil. Season with salt too.
- When the water reach the boil set the heat on very low and let it simmer with the cover not completely closed for about 4 hours (it’s a good time, but some older recipes suggest to cook it even longer). In the first minutes, if there is still some foam coming on the surface, remove it with a skimmer/perforated spoon.
- When you see that the meat is very tender and you can remove it easily from the bones take some soup and in another pot boil the pasta. Control also if the soup is salted enough.
- Now it’s ready to be served: filter the soup, add one piece of tail in every dish, the pasta and some of the vegetables. Add some fresh chives to garnish (or parsley if you prefer), and if you would like some freshly ground black pepper.
- How to eat the tail? With hands, of course 🙂
PS: if you want to add a very particular taste, you could add some Sherry or Madeira. You’ll find that in some recipes, also in one of the famous Gundel.
Beef tail: Angus from Terra Pannonia