One of Dr. Ming’s fondest childhood culinary experiences growing up in China was a Russian-inspired tomato-based oxtail soup. This Russian-style oxtail soup served at the famous Moscow Restaurant, one of the earliest foreign restaurants in Beijing. The French-influenced Russian restaurant opened in 1954, known by many at the time to be the only Western food known to local people. It was expensive enough that it cost around 1/8th of person’s monthly income to have dinner there.
Our home-cooked version of the soup is filled with farmer’s market produce and meat. This dish is an ideal way to consume plenty of nourishing collagen filled broth and vegetables in during the winter.
Step 1: Put all of the following ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a rapid boil. Skim off foam and cover to simmer for 3 hours. If you have a pressure cooker, you could make this in 1 hour on the high setting.
- 3 lbs Oxtail
- 1 Tablespoon Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1 Tablespoon Star Anise
- 1 piece of cinnamon bark
- 5 inches of Ginger, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 scallions
- 2 cups of Chinese cooking sherry
- 1/2 cup of Chinese black vinegar or red wine vinegar.
- Enough water to submerge ingredients plus an inch at the top.
Step 2: While waiting for your oxtail broth to cook, prepare the following vegetables into bite sized pieces. The recipe is flexible, just make sure your tomato-potato-carrot-onion ratio is the same and increase your tomato paste to taste.
- 1 small Cabbage, cored, cut into large bite sized pieces
- 5 cups of large tomatoes, cored, cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 cups of potatoes, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 cups of large carrots, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces
- 5 cups of yellow onions, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 can of organic tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 3: Remove oxtail, shred meat, and strain and reserve the broth. Discard bones and other herbs.