Homemade Oxtail Soup
This oxtail soup recipe is flavorful, nutritious, and loaded with fresh vegetables. Oxtails and beef shank simmer slowly with vegetables to produce a rich broth and tender, succulent meat. This soup is the definition of comfort food!
Soup season is arguably one of my favorite times of the year. (It’s truthfully one that lasts year-round in my house!) There’s just nothing more comforting than cozying up on a chilly fall or winter evening with a steaming bowl of homemade soup. And let’s be real. You can’t have a good soup without a delicious homemade broth.
That’s why I love this homemade oxtail soup recipe. The broth is the star of the show and the perfect foundation for the other delicious ingredients like the succulent beef, flavorful herbs, and tender veggies.
A Soup Recipe is Rooted in Family Tradition
I remember as a kid fishing for the soup bones with the marrow in the middle. It honestly makes the best taco de tuetano (bone marrow taco) when slathered on a warm corn tortilla and sprinkled with salt. You might think it tastes fatty and greasy, but in truth it’s pure heavenly, buttery goodness.
Like most of my all-time favorite recipes, this delicious oxtail soup is one my family has enjoyed for generations. When I decided to make my own oxtail soup, the first person I called was my mom (per usual) to see if she could walk me through how to make the oxtail soup my grandmother used to make. Thankfully, my mom is a superstar in the kitchen, and she shared this recipe and lots of tips. The resulting dish is a homemade oxtail soup that I’m proud to say stands up to abuela’s recipe!
The broth of this soup is made by slow simmering beef oxtails and beef shank with water, salt, onions, and garlic for a couple of hours until the beef is tender and the beef broth is flavorful and rich.
Then, the soup is loaded with carrots, potatoes, celery, cabbage, corn, tomatoes, and zucchini, and seasoned with basic spices like pepper, coriander, safflower petals (azafran), and fresh cilantro.
How To Make It
- Bring water with salt and garlic to boil in a large stock pot.
- Add the onion, oxtails, shanks, and bones to the stockpot, and bring to a boil. Lower to a slow simmer, cover, and cook for 2 ½ hours. (You can divide the ingredients into two large pots, if needed, to make sure everything is covered with liquid.)
- After that time has passed, add all the remaining veggies, and raise the heat to a rolling boil. Then, lower heat to a low simmer, and cover for 30 minutes.
- Add pepper, coriander, asafran (if using), and cilantro and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, and add more if needed.
- Serve soup with lime wedges, salsa casera, and bone marrow slathered in a warm corn tortilla with a sprinkle of salt. Enjoy!
Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions
This recipe makes two large pots of oxtail soup. You can easily cut this recipe in half, but what I love about homemade soup is that it makes great leftovers.
Refrigerate leftovers for one week in an airtight container or freeze for up to a month, and reheat when you need a warm comforting meal simply in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Not oxen tails, like the name suggests. This is a part of the animal that would otherwise go to waste, and if you’ve learned anything about me thus far it’s that when cooking I love to use as much of an animal as possible!
Oxtail can be pricey due to availability, demand, and the time it takes to prepare it. Because it’s only a small portion of the cow and has become a widely-loved dish requiring a great deal of cooking time, the price of oxtail has sky-rocketed over the years, particularly in restaurants. That’s why I love making oxtail soup at home!
The real question is what is it not good for? Like many healthy soups, this oxtail soup is packed with protein from the beef as well as lots of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and healthy fats. It’s the perfect dish to make when you or someone you love is feeling under the weather. An immune boost in a bowl!
More Soup Recipes To Try
- Caldo de Res (Beef Soup)
- Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- Caldo de Pescado y Camaron (Fish and Shrimp Soup)
- Chicken Pozole Verde
- Red Pork and Hominy Stew (Pozole Rojo)
- Caldo de Pollo
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
If you tried this rich and comforting homemade oxtail soup recipe, please be sure to rate and review it below!
Caldo de colita de res – Oxtail Soup
- 20 cups water
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 6 garlic, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 pounds beef oxtails
- 1 ½ pounds beef shank, trim bone, and cut in 2-inch pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 small red potatoes, 1-inch pieces (leave skins on)
- 4 celery stalks, sliced
- ½ large green cabbage, remove center and outer layer, chop 2-inch squares
- 3 corn on the cob, fresh or frozen, cut in 2-inch pieces
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 zucchinis, chopped (large pieces)
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons safflower petals, azafran, optional
- Handful cilantro
- Bring water with salt and garlic to boil in a large stock pot. Divide ingredients into two large pots, if needed.
- Add onion, oxtails, shanks, and bones and boil, lower to a slow simmer and cover and cook for 2 ½ hours.
- Add all vegetables, raise the heat to bring to a boil, lower heat to a low simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
- Add pepper, coriander, asafran (if using), and cilantro and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Taste for salt, and add more salt if needed.
- Serve soup with lime wedges and salsa casera, and bone marrow slathered in a warm corn tortilla with a sprinkle of salt.
Find Rumba Meats at a store near you.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: September 2019.