During the past few years, chefs have taken everyday meats that were historically considered poor man’s cuts and glamorized them with special treatments. Inspired by this trend, we used the budget cut of oxtail to make this soup. A take on Scotch broth (made with lamb, barley, and vegetables), this recipe simmers up oxtails for a rich broth and then adds barley and turnips for a filling meal.
What to buy: Oxtails are rarely from an actual ox anymore; now the term generally refers to beef or veal tail, which can be found (precut) at most supermarkets and butcher shops.
Special equipment: You will need a fat separator for this recipe in order to defat the broth. Fat separators can be found at cooking stores or at some grocery stores.
Game plan: If you don’t have a fat separator, start this soup a day in advance to allow the broth to chill thoroughly.
For the soup:
Beverage pairing: Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, England. The barley in the soup naturally cries out for barley in the beverage, in this case dark-roasted malted barley. This hearty soup also needs a hearty drink, and the dark stout will contrast the soup in texture while equaling it in flavor and body. It’s a warming combination on a winter’s night, so don’t serve the beer too cold.