I have quite a few food memories while growing up. My mom had an extensive repartee of meals she would cook — some of them sent me making the rounds to see which friend’s house I could invite myself to dinner, while most had me looking forward to dinner at home. There also were times that had me sitting at the kitchen counter, watching the preparation with anticipation.
Oxtail soup was one dinner that had me glued to the kitchen. Not only to enjoy the smells as it was cooking, but also because I knew that after the oxtails were cooked, my mom would remove the meat from the bones and hand them to my sisters and me to polish them off. It was a pre-oxtail soup dinner ritual.
Traditional oxtail soup is a consommé but in my house oxtail soup is somewhat of a misnomer as it was thicker — like gravy — with meat and mushrooms included, usually served over noodles or spätzle. I’ve also had it over rice and think it would work over pretty much any starch. It is thick and rich, so eating it alone as a soup would likely only work in small batches.
Photography note: When I make oxtail I always serve it over my favorite pasta, farfalle — also known as bow-tie pasta. When we were doing the shoot, I was informed by the food stylist, Alexis, that farfalle pasta was a kids pasta and we needed to make the dish look more sophisticated with egg noodles. The final image does look sophisticated but it won’t change the fact that when I eat oxtail soup, I’ll be eating it on my ‘kids’ pasta.