Joris Bijdendijk is a star chef. He answers basic questions from the kitchen. This week: oxtail as an ideal broth base.
Last week we already talked about broth in this place. It becomes lumpy thanks to gelatin from the collagen from bones, skin and tendons, and gets a full flavor thanks to meat juices. We need both for a tasty broth. It is therefore useful to look for an ingredient that has all of that in it – apart from other seasonings.
Broth is one of the clear and light soups and its preparation deserves your full attention. In a good clear soup, what floats in the broth should not be too abundant and it should be subtle and cooked in such a way that it retains its own structure. The separate ingredients therefore remain recognizable.
Pieces of tail
Oxtail is ideal for a full-bodied broth. It contains a lot of meat and everything else to get the broth nice and lumpy. The broth must also boil long enough for this.
For extra flavor, roast or fry the tail pieces. I put on 2 kilos of tail with 5 liters of cold water. For an extra tasty broth, top the seared tails with chicken broth. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for 6 hours. If too much moisture evaporates, you can add a little cold water at a time. Skim off any egg whites that float to the top with a slotted spoon. You can also carefully skim off the fat.
Through the sieve
The vegetables that go in, such as carrots and onions, can also be fried for extra color in the broth. These can really be blackened in a dry frying pan. After 6 hours you can add the roasted vegetables to the oxtail in the pan. Cook the vegetables for 1 hour and then scoop them out of the pan together with the oxtail.
The broth can be strained through a wet kitchen towel. Always check whether the tail is cooked; don’t let it boil hard, but let it simmer gently all the time. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
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