Oxtail-Barley Soup Recipe

Oxtail! Oxtail? yup, oxtail.  I still find it hard to understand, but Piggy2 came home with 4 pounds of oxtail.  I didn't want to make the usual soup, which are the only recipes I could find, but the recipe turned out to be soup anyway.  I did begin by braising the oxtails first, but as I progressed, the meat ended up in a soup after all.  Well, I don't know if I should call it a soup, it turned out very thick, thanks to the barley that I used, which was a nice addition.

2 pounds oxtails, rinsed and patted dry
3 quarts cold water

braising the oxtails
1 cup barley (not quick-cooking), rinsed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon beef base
4 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, brown oxtails on all sides.  Add oil as necessary as not to burn the oxtail (about 1 tablespoon).  Remove oxtails and discard any rendered fat in pan.

Add water and oxtails to pan.  Add barley,  garlic, celery, onion and beef base. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Add carrots and tomatoes, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until carrots, barley and meat are tender. Remove meat from bones and return to soup.

Stay hungry my friend!