Oxtail, mushroom and dumpling soup
1¼ kg oxtail, cut into 3cm pieces 2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 small brown onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 tbs tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary and 1 tbs rosemary leaves, finely chopped 1 litre (4 cups) salt-reduced beef stock
200g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
1½ cups (200g) self-raising flour 2 tbs finely grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of cloves
1 tsp sea salt 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
Chopped parsley, finely grated lemon zest and crusty bread, to serve
Heat half the oil in a large heavy based saucepan or casserole dish over medium-heat. Add the oxtail and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning, in batches if necessary, until browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining oil, garlic, onions, carrot and celery to the pan, and cook for a further 8 to 10 minutes until softened. Add tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Return oxtail to the pan, add herbs, stock and 4 cups water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours, or until meat is falling off the bone, adding extra water if needed during the cooking process. Skim fat from the top of the soup during cooking. Season. Stir through mushrooms.
For the dumplings, combine the flour, chopped rosemary, parmesan, cloves and salt in a large bowl. Pour in eggs and stir to combine. Gently knead dough for 1 minute, adding a little water if required, then roll mixture into heaped teaspoonsized balls. Add balls to the soup, cover with a lid and gently simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until dumplings double in size.
Serve soup sprinkled with parsley and lemon zest with crusty bread on the side.