I love any soup that involves eating with your hands, and these slow braised oxtails are worth getting your hands a little messy. The oxtails are best if braised one day and then left overnight in the liquid. Some of the excess fat that solidifies on the top should be removed the next day, and then you can proceed with the remainder of the preparation.
2 lb. oxtails
1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
1 onion, chopped roughly
5 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water, sherry, or wine
1 quart beef stock, ideally homemade
2 bay leaves
several sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups carrots, in bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups parsnips, in bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cup button mushrooms, halved
1 cup green peas (I use frozen)
salt and pepper to taste
Brown oxtails in coconut oil or ghee over medium-high heat in large pot. Remove oxtails from pot and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat until translucent. Stir in tomato paste.
Add 1/4 cup water, sherry, or wine and scrape brown bits from bottom of pot. Add stock, oxtails, bayleaves, thyme, and pepper to pot and add additional water if necessary to cover oxtails. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 2 hours. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove some of the fat that has solidified on top of soup. Bring to a boil and add the carrots, parsnips, and mushrooms. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours or until vegetables are very tender. Add peas and cook until hot.