Oxtail Soup at Midnight

Served at the California Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas from 11PM until breakfast the next day.  $9.95 includes 2 scoops of rice and garnishes.  If you are hungry, fall in line early as it gets crowded closer to midnight. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs oxtails
  • 1 strip dried orange peel (zest, not the pith)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • Salt, at least a tablespoon, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup of shelled, skinned, raw peanuts (can sub roasted unsalted peanuts)
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • A handful of fresh mustard greens, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups, loosely packed)
  • Finely chopped ginger, scallions and/or cilantro for garnish.

1 Bring a large pot (5-quart), half filled with water, to a boil. Add the oxtails. Parboil for 30 minutes. Drain the pot. Rinse the oxtails in water. Trim the oxtails of any excess fat.

2 Return the oxtails to the pot. Cover with water by an inch. Add the orange peel, star anise, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for one hour. Add the peanuts and simmer for 2-3 more hours, until the oxtail meat is tender and falling off the bone.

3 At the point, you can either skim the fat off the soup and proceed to the next step, or let the soup cool, and chill it overnight in the refrigerator. The next day the fat will have solidified and will be easy to pull up from the top of the soup. The flavors will also have had more of a chance to blend and be absorbed by the oxtails if you let the soup sit overnight.

4Bring soup to a simmer. Add the chili pepper flakes and mustard greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the mustard greens are tender.

Serve with garnishes of chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, and freshly grated ginger. If you want, you can strip the meat off the bones before serving. We prefer the meat served bone-in, in which case you will want to provide a bowl for the bones. Serves 4.

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