Oxtail soup is a very traditional dish served during holidays and fiestas in the Filipino culture. My mom used to make these every time we had a party at our house. Depending on what recipe you follow, some contain peanuts and beans. It is usually served over rice, of course! In its original form, it is not whole30 or paleo compliant, but don't fret, because my new version is fully compliant and as good as the original.
I wanted to make this dish because at its core is bone broth. When families used to eat, they cooked every single thing they had including making broth out of leftover bones for gravies, soups and stews. With the advent of fast food, msg, other additives were added to our food to make it taste delicious. We started moving away from local animals that grazed in grass and produced excellent, tasty meat. Instead, we started eating meat made in factory farms lacking real nutrition and instead loaded with antibiotics and chemicals.
Bone broth is essentially the act of cooking animal bones to make soup. Depending on the type of animal you use, the soup may be thick or thin. As long as you use good, quality meat, your bone broth will provide you with the following benefits. Bone broth contains glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) which aid in join health, collagen which straighten your hair, skin and nails, gelatin to help your internal digestive system, glycine to help your liver process toxins more efficiently and it's great for boosting your immune system (hence, chicken soup). You can find more benefits here and here.
Interestingly, there are new companies popping up that sell bone broth. You can find these at Wholefoods, Amazon and many other stores. I linked one of the popular ones on Amazon on the right side. Kind of expensive, but it is a superfood so it's this or medical bills. When taking bone broth as part of your daily routine, make sure you let it settle and sink in your system for a few days. Your body will need some time to adjust to this new, healthier substance.
Bone broth is easy to make though. For this recipe, I took the traditional Filipino Oxtail Soup and substituted a few things out to make sure it was whole30 and paleo compliant. More vegetables were also added to make it more hearty as a meal and not just soup alone. When making this, make sure you get good, quality, local meat along with good vegetables. Because you will end up drinking the soup, you want to make sure you wash everything well and get organic as much as possible to reduce pesticide contamination and ingestion.
For this recipe, potatoes have been added. I know paleo followers may not consider white potatoes strictly compliant,but these are still nutritious vegetables to add to soups.
Whole30 and Paleo Compliant Filipino Oxtail Soup
3 lbs of oxtail
3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 a large white onion chopped
2-3 pieces of ginger root (half a pinky size each)
4 cups of water or more
1 bunch of bok choy
3-4 small potatoes chopped into quarters
Salt to taste
Avocado oil for browning
Add a few drops of avocado oil to a large pot
Brown the oxtail on all sides
Add the garlic and onion
Let it all cook together for a few minutes
Add water until it covers the entire contents of the pot
Add the ginger and salt
Leave it on med-high for 45 minutes
Add the potatoes and more water to make sure all contents are under water
Let it cook for another 15 minutes
Taste the soup and the meat, add more salt as needed. The meat should be nice and tender.
Turn off the heat and add the bokchoy
Let the bokchoy cook in the pot for a few minutes before serving
A few alternatives. Add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to add a bit of a kick to the broth. Add other vegetables to it to make it more of a complete meal.
For this recipe, you can purchase everything out of plastic. Ask you butcher to save you some oxtail bones next time. The vegetables typically come package free and I normally buy bokchoy that are in bunches and not in plastic. I used whole ginger with the skin removed instead of ginger powder to get the flavor.