Lentils and what!?? Oxtails!! Just the thought of these could send you running to the vegetarian isles of the supermarket. But, don't knock them if if you haven't tried them. Getting past the appearance is the hard part. The key to making these oxtails is to slow cook them for many hours until the meat falls off of the bone. And if you're still a bit squeamish, just prepare the soup without the meat or substitute some portabello mushrooms for a hearty flavor.
I did not make this soup in a crock pot but I highly encourage it. You can throw everything in, turn to high for at least 5-6 hours (or on low for about 8). When you get home from work, dinner will be ready to serve, providing the house doesn't burn down. It's kind of like leaving the coffee pot or the curling iron on when you leave the house. Thank God for the technology that automatically turns appliances off now!
The inspiration for this dish came from my grandmother on my father's side. She would bring either this piping hot dish or her dumplings and/or braised red cabbage. I don't think I knew what I was eating back then. All I knew was that it sure tasted great!
Lentil and Oxtail Soup Serves 4
a drizzle of olive oil
about 4 oxtails
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 chopped carrot
1 bay leaf
1 cup lentils
1 cup beef stock or broth
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot brown the oxtails in the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, mushrooms, and chopped carrot, stir and saute about 1 minute to marry the flavors.
|All ingredients in, ready for the cooking time|
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a rolling boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for approximately 1 1/2 hours. (On this stove top version the meat will not fall off the bone.) If using the crock pot method, just throw it all in, stir and turn on. (Yes, the meat slides off the bone.) Serve with crusty bread, tortillas or cornbread.
Some variations to the oxtails could be chicken, different sausages or a vegetarian version using veggie broth. Your choice!