Oxtail soup


Oxtail soup

This week Chef Niemand shares a recipe for a hearty, flavoursome oxtail soup and a Mediterranean flatbread to accompany the soup. Enjoy!

500g oxtail (excess fat removed)
50ml cake flour
  Splash of olive oil for frying
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
45ml tomato paste
  Handful of fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
2 bay leaves
125ml  red wine
750ml beef stock
150g pearl barley


  1. Heat the oil in a large casserole. Toss the meat in the cake flour and brown in the olive oil.
  2. Add the vegetables and brown them slightly. Add the tomato paste and chopped herbs, bay leaves and red wine. Simmer to slightly reduce the red wine.
  3. Add the beef stock (enough to completely cover the meat). Simmer to the point where the meat falls off the bone. Remove the bay leaves and oxtail bones and add the pearl barley – simmer for another 30 minutes.
  4. Adjust the seasoning and blitz some of the soup with a hand held blender so that it thickens but still has some chunky bits in it. Serve with wedges of fresh bread.

Chef’s TIP
Good to know (for the purpose of serving oxtail (NOT oxtail soup) and lamb shanks):
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then plunge the oxtail into the water for 1-2 minutes. This helps the meat to retract around the bone and keeps it intact during the cooking process.

Mediterranean flatbread

This recipe makes 1 – 2 loaves of flatbread, depending on their size. Allow some time for proofing plus 20 minutes for preparation.

1 kg cake flour
15 ml salt
10 ml sugar
10 g instant dry yeast
30 ml butter
625 ml       lukewarm water
2 red onions, sliced into rings
15 ml fresh rosemary
30 ml olive oil
15 ml brown sugar
10 ml balsamic vinegar


  1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar. Add the yeast and mix. Rub butter into the flour and gradually add the lukewarm water. Mix to form a soft dough. A little more water can be added if the dough is too dry.
  2. Knead the dough for about 10-15 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size.
  3. Knock down the dough and shape it into a rectangle or press it into a rectangular baking tray. Sprinkle the onion and rosemary on the dough, cover with greased cling film and, again, leave it in a warm place to rise.
  4. Mix the olive oil, sugar and vinegar and pour half of it over the flatbread. Bake for 25 minutes. Pour the remaining oil mixture over the bread and bake for another five minutes until it has caramelised and is golden brown in colour.

Variations: You can also make a focaccia or rolls using this dough.