Oxtail and vegetables are simmered for hours into a deeply comforting soup with complex flavors in this recipe for Indonesian Sop Buntot.
- 4 shallots, peeled and halved
- 1 large onion, quartered, divided
- 1 (2 inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced across the grain
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 whole cloves (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 pounds meaty oxtail pieces, at room temperature
- 2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- water to cover
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 ripe roma tomatoes, sliced horizontally into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 (2.8 ounce) can French-fried onions
- Combine shallots, 2 onion quarters, ginger, and garlic in a food processor; pulse into a paste.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; cook and stir cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shallot paste and fry until fragrant and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add oxtails; stir until completely covered with spices and paste and browned, about 5 minutes.
- Stir remaining onion quarters, 2 carrots, and celery into the pot. Pour in enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until oxtail is tender, about 5 hours.
- Stir salt, black pepper, potatoes, and 3 carrots into the pot. Increase heat and simmer soup until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Add sugar and fish sauce; stir well to combine.
- Ladle soup into large serving bowls and top with tomato wedges and French-fried onions.