French Recipes French Cuisine French Food

Potage Queue de Boeuf

Potage Queue de Boeuf is a thickened brown oxtail soup, delicious when served with a dollop of creme fraiche, whipped cream or sour cream dropped in the middle of each bowl.


  • 1 ½ oz. butter
  • 2 ½ tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 lb. oxtail, cut in 1- inch sections
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 tsp. flour
  • 3 ¼ pints beef stock
  • Bouquet garni made of 2 parsley sprigs, 2 celery stalks and 1 leek tied together
  • A scant tsp. dried thyme
  • 4 or 5 peppercorns
  • salt
  • freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 oz. finely diced carrots
  • 1 oz. finely diced turnips
  • 3-5 tsp. dry Madeira or Port


1.Melt ½ oz. of the butter with the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the oxtail and cook, turning frequently until the pieces are golden brown on all sides. Transfer the oxtail to a plate.

2.Cook the sliced onion and carrot in the fat remaining in the pan for 8-10 minutes until they are soft and lightly browned.

3.Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has browned. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.

4.Gradually beat in the beef stock, whisking vigorously. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring until the soup is smooth and has begun to thicken.

5.Return the oxtail to the pan with the bouquet garni, thyme, peppercorns and bring to the boil over a high heat.

6.Skim the fat from the surface, reduce the heat and simmer the soup, partially covered for 3 ½ hours, skimming frequently.

7.Lift out the oxtail with a perforated spoon and strain the soup through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Let it settle for a few minutes , then skim off the surface fat.

8.Taste the strained soup, season with salt and pepper and return it to the pan.

9.Melt 1 oz. of butter in a 6-8-inch frying pan and in it cook the diced carrots and turnips, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes until they are coated with butter.

10.Add the diced carrots and turnips and the oxtail to the soup and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, skimming the fat from the surface as necessary.

11.To serve, ladle the soup into a tureen and stir in the wine.
                                                                                                 (serves 4)

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