French Style Onion Soup With Braised Oxtail

This is an opulent version of the very special French onion soup, which to make properly you need a rich full flavoured stock this will be created after long slow braising of the oxtails. If you're going to all this trouble make a big batch to store for another day, the marrow and parsley toast make a welcome addition to this beefeaters wintry feast.
French Style Onion Soup With Braised Oxtail

Ingredients and Methods

- 1 kg of Oxtail pieces
- Olive oil
- Salt & milled pepper
- 4 peeled carrots split
- 8 sticks of celery
- 2 heads of garlic
- Bouquet garni

Soup Base:
- 2Ltrs beef stock
- 10/1.8kg brown onions
- 400ml olive oil
- Bunch thyme tied in a parcel
- Salt & milled pepper
- 300ml red wine vinegar
- 4 thin slices rustic bread
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper
- 2cm thick slices of de boned marrow which has been rinsed in cold water for 30 minutes to remove any blood which discolours the marrow
- 100g shallots cut into thin rings
- 1 bunch flat parsley leaves
- 50ml vinaigrette
- 50g gruyere cheese, grated

1. Pre heat oven to 200°C, in a deep heavy based casserole dish which has a lid, heat some olive oil, season the Oxtail all over & sear on all sides until well browned. 
2. Remove the tails add the vegetables, lightly colour, add bouquet garni & beef stock, return the meat to the pan. Cover with a lid & place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours until soft & gelatinous.
3. Meanwhile prepare onions by removing 1cm from the tops & bottoms of the onion, slice in half lengthways then cut as thin as possible with the grain of the onion with a sharp knife or a Japanese mandolin, taking care not to cut too close to your fingers.
4. Heat a large deep casserole with oil, raise the temperature then add onions, season lightly & cook on a high heat until they collapse, cook over a high heat until the excess moisture has evaporated, reduce the heat & cook gently, ensure you stir regularly. After about 1 hour the onions will begin to colour & caramelise & become a jam like consistency, drain off excess oil & add thyme bouquet garni parcel & red wine vinegar reduce to a syrup.  Remove from the heat.
5. Once the beef meat is soft & tender remove from the beef stock with vegetables, skim off any grease and impurities then strain onto the onions. Bring to the simmer & cook for 15 minutes
6. Brush your thinly sliced bread with olive oil on both sides, lightly season with salt & bake for 12 minutes at 190°C until crisp & golden brown.
7. Now the Oxtail has cooled slightly, tear off pieces of meat, cut into bite size pieces & remove any excess fat or sinew.
8. Pre-heat a grill then take your marrow slices, season with sea salt & coarse ground black pepper, place under the grill with the croutons which have been lightly sprinkled with gruyere cheese, cook until cheese melts & the marrow softens, keep warm.
9. Warm a generous amount of braised beef in your soup bowl then. Toss parsley, shallots & lentil vinaigrette together, arrange marrow on the toast & serve with the onion broth then top with salad.

Cook's Note:
Any braising cut will be successful in this recipe. E.g. brisket, shin, short rib or cheek.

Chef Paul Wilson

Credited with serving some of Australia’s most exciting food, Paul Wilson has been described as one of the most extraordinary culinary talents in the Commonwealth & continues to receive critical acclaim for crafting inspiring dishes that take an innovative approach to cuisine traditions. (more)

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Paul Wilson

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