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Oxtail Soup

ingredients

1 oxtail, jointed
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
2 onions, skinned and chopped
1 carrot, pared and sliced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and sliced
2 litre (3 1/2 pt) brown stock
25 g (1 oz) lean ham or bacon, chopped
bouquet garni
salt and pepper
3 tbsp (45 ml) plain flour (All purpose)
a little port, optional
a squeeze of lemon juice

method

1. Wash and dry the oxtail and trim off any excess fat. Fry the pieces of oxtail in the butter with the vegetables for 5 minutes, until evenly browned. Just cover with the stock and bring to tht boil. Add the chopped ham or bacon, bouquet garni and seasoning.

2. Cover the saucepan and simmer gently for about 4 hours, or until the tail meat is tender.

3. As oxtail is very fatty, it is necessary to skim the soup occasionally with a metal spoon. Strain the soup, remove the meat from the bones and cut it up neatly.

4. Return the meat and strained liquor to the pan and re-heat.

5. Blend the flour and a little water or port to a smooth cream. Stir in a little of the hot liquid and add the mixture to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until it thickens, and cook for about 5 minutes.

6. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and seasoning to taste before serving.

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