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Only 1 lb. of Oxtail, but I Want to Make Soup! How much water?

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Hello all!

I bought a whole oxtail to make beef stock for curry a few months ago, and have about a lb. left in my freezer. I'd like to simmer it for a nice Korean style soup tonight, but am not sure how much water I'll need just to cook 1 lb. I realize it probably seems really wasteful to spend all that time simmering the oxtail when there's so little of it, but these are leftovers, and I'd like to use them up.

I'm thinking once I get whatever nice stock I can get out of these bones, I'll probably need to add a little garlic powder and a spoonful or so of beef consomme to help it along. After that, it'll just be a little white pepper, sesame oil, daikon slices and green onion. Simple but hopefully delicious! :) I usually make this with a big slab of chuck in huge quantities, but....well, like I said....Leftovers.

I would be grateful for any tips or advice on how to make the most of my measly little lb. of oxtail for this soup! :)

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  1. Water to cover. Then taste it after awhile, if it tastes watery then reduce it some more, if it's really rich, then add more water.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal

      I agree but would add some sherry to the water. Makes a helluva difference.

    2. 1 lb of oxtail is about one segment of ox tail, right? I would add about 3-4 cups of water, especially considering that you will add a few other things later.

      1 Reply
      1. If you wish to use the meat from the oxtail in the soup, don't start with water. Start with canned beef or chicken stock. Then simmer the oxtails for a couple hours, pull off the meat and then simmer the bones for a couple more hours. That way the meat will not be 'spent' for the resulting soup. Frankly, I have homemade beef stock in the freezer for situations such as this where I take bones and scraps not as good as oxtails to make the stock.

        1. When I make Waikiki oxtail soup, I actually only use about 1 lbs of oxtail and 1 lbs of some other leaner meat so it's not so fatty. If a made it all with oxtail, I would need ~3 lbs and will have to cool the soup in the cooler overnight to remove the extra fat.

          By adding the leaner meat, I get a good full body soup with not too much fat. But I also cook the oxtail/meat in a pho base and not just water.

          1. I would expect to have a quart of finished soup liquid.....so to do so, I would have more water than has been suggested thus far. I'm no scientist, but I find more braising liquid aids in making the ox tails tender quicker. The extra liquid is not a problem, as I just reduce the amount of broth through evaporation to concentrate the flavor of the soup.

            1. Water to just barely cover or else your broth will taste flat.