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Polish Oxtail Soup Recipe – Zupa Ogonowa

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A white bowl of Polish oxtail soup containing pieces of meat, sliced carrots, and herbs is placed on a wooden board with a red cloth and leafy greens in the background.

Oxtail soup is popular in many countries. It is believed that the first oxtail soup recipe originated in London in the 1700’s. This recipe wasn’t really curated by the British. Instead it was the brainchild of French and Flemish immigrants. Irrespective of who and where it started out at, this recipe has spread quickly and has fast become one of the most loved soups on the continent.

Intriguingly enough, versions of this soup have made it as far as Korea where it is called Kkori Gomtang. Other places that have also embraced the dish are China, West Africa and Indonesia. It is even popular in South America. Poland also has its own recipe of oxtail soup that is well loved among the Poles.

You will find Polish oxtail soup is a very easy recipe to make. The soup is rich. Since it derives a lot of its flavor from the marrow of the oxtail, you will find that the broth of the soup is fatty. This makes it an excellent dish to be served on cold winter days.

Polish Oxtail Soup Recipe – Zupa Ogonowa

Part I – Wash And Cover The Oxtails With Water

Wash the oxtails well. Place them in a pot and cover them with water. Ensure that the water is 3 inches (7 cms) above the oxtail. This is important because it will help you get the required amount of broth.

Ingredients for Polish oxtail soup
Ingredients for Polish oxtail soup

Part II – Add Spices And Cook

Add in 5 bay leaves, 5 allspice berries, salt and water. Cook the oxtails. The combination of the oxtails and spices will give the resultant broth a unique and rich flavor.

Part III – Bring To An Almost Boil

This is a very important step. Make sure that soup does not start boiling. If it does, it will lose all its taste. The best way to do this is by keeping it on a very low flame.

Part IV – Gather The Szumy

Often you will notice a white or dark foam that gathers at the top of the soup. Don’t be alarmed. This is totally norwal. This foam is called szumy. Gently collect the szumy with a tablespoon and discard it.

Part V – Prep The Vegetables

Wash and peel the potatoes, carrots and parsley root.

Part VI – Dice The Vegetables.

Dice the potatoes, the celery root, the green part of the leek and the parsley root. Set it aside.

Part VII – Cut The Carrot In Slices

Part VII – Add Veggies And Groats To The Soup

After the broth has been cooked for around 30 minutes, add in the diced vegetables and 4 tbsps. of groats to the soup. Cook this mixture for another 30-45 minutes.

Add the veggies.
Add the veggies.

Part IX – Dice The White Part Of The Leek

Now dice the white part of the leek. Fry it in oil and add it to the soup when the groats are almost done cooking.

Fry the leek
Fry the leek.

Part X – Serve With Fresh Chopped Parsley.

Serve warm with parsley.
Serve warm with parsley.

Polish Oxtail Soup Recipe FAQ

Why Is Oxtail Expensive?

One needs to realize that oxtail is a very small section of the cow’s tail. This portion has both tough and flavorful meat. Since it is such a small area of the tail that can be used, the amount of oxtail that you can get from slaughtering a cow is very low. The demand on the other hand is very high. Hence the cost of this particular section of meat is very high.

Is Oxtail Healthy Or Not?

Oxtail has a high amount of fat. This means that it is not really healthy to eat all the time. On the other hand, it also is rich in collagen which is important for growth and repair of the body. Generally speaking oxtail is popular as a treat or in soup on cold winter days. The fat and heat of soup help warm you up. It is also popular among people who eat a high fat and low carb diet.

What Are Groats? What Can Be Used In Polish Oxtail Soup?

Groats are a whole grain kernel variety of various cereal grains. These are very healthy because they contain loads of fiber. Generally speaking most grain lose their germ, barn and endosperm when they are hulled (removal of the outer coating). Groats on the other hand do not.

Wheat, rye, oat and barley are great examples of oats. These can all be used when cooking your Polish oxtail soup.

Can You Use Pigs’ Tails For This Soup?

Yes! In Poland, zupa ogonowa is made either from pigs’ or cows’ tails.

The photos used in this post are from the time I used pigs tails. They are easier to get in Poland right now.

Yield: 8 servings

Polish Oxtail Soup Recipe - Zupa Ogonowa

Serve warn with parsley.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (1kg) of oxtails
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsps of salt
  • ½ tsp of black pepper
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 tbsps of any groat (barley, buckwheat, etc.)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 small celery root
  • 1 parsley root
  • a bunch of parsley

Instructions

  1. Wash and cover the oxtails with water. The water should reach the level of 3'' (7cm) above the surface.
  2. Add bay leaves, allspice berries, salt, and pepper, and cook.
  3. Bring to an almost-boil (the soup CANNOT start boiling otherwise it will lose its taste).
  4. If you notice white/dark foam gather at the top of the soup, collect it with a tablespoon, and throw it away. It's called szumy and it's completely normal that you have it in your soup.
  5. In the meantime, peel the veggies.
  6. Dice potatoes, celery root, green part of the leek, and parsley root.
  7. Cut carrot in slices.
  8. After 30 minutes, add veggies and groats to the soup and cook for another 30-45 minutes.
  9. Dice the white part of the leek and fry it in oil.
  10. Add it to the soup at the end.
  11. Serve with fresh chopped parsley.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 2686mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 19g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

Did you make this recipe?

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One Response

  1. I have only seen oxtails cut into round circles with the bone joint in the middle. I am 70. And yes, they are very expensive, but the soup, I think is very rich and very healthy. After I cook it, It goes in the fridge and the fat on top is removed, but not all of it. I also add tomatoes and barley. The collagen is very soothing for joints and good for your skin when eaten.

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