In Indonesian cuisine, oxtail soup (sop buntut) is a popular dish. It is made of slices of fried or barbecued oxtail, served in vegetable soup with rich but clear beef broth. It contains boiled potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, leek, celery, and fried shallots. Indonesian sop buntut is seasoned with shallot, garlic and native spices such as black pepper, nutmeg, and clove. A relatively new variant is called Sop Buntut Goreng (fried oxtail soup), where the oxtail is seasoned, fried and served dry, the soup is served in separate bowl. The dish is commonly eaten with rice and accompanied with sambal, sweet soy sauce and lime juice.
Sop Buntut - Javanese Oxtail Soup
For the stock:
- 400 g oxtails , see notes
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large stalk celery, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 litre water
For the soup
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed approx 1cm
- 1 large leek, washed and sliced approx 2mm thick
- 1 large stalk celery, washed and finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons pearl barley
- Season the oxtails generously with salt and pepper. Heat half of the oil in a heavy based pot. Sear the oxtail, in batches, till browned all over. Set aside.
- Discard any excess oil and add the roughly chopped, onion, carrot, celery, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, bay leaf and 1½ litres of water to the pot. Bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer, add the oxtail and continue to simmer for 3½ hours (or until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone). During this time be sure to skim the scum from the surface.
- Once the meat is done remove from the pot and set aside. Strain out the stock into a clean bowl or container (discarding the aromatics and vegetables) and place the stock into the fridge to cool right down. Any fat within the stock will rise to the surface and solidify making it really easy to remove.
- When the oxtail is cool enough to handle remove the meat using your hands and set aside, the bones can be discarded.
- In a large soup pot heat the remaining oil, add the all the soup ingredients, except for the barley and parsley, and gently sauté while stirring for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, at which time, you can add the oxtail stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Add the barley and the shredded oxtail and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender. If at any stage the soup is becoming too thick you can stir in a little water to retain the desired consistency.
- Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.