pounds beef or pork bones
1 or 2
2 to 3
tablespoons each butter and olive oil
flour or other thickener (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
In a stockpot or heavy cast-iron Dutch oven, brown 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, two or three carrots, two onions cut into slices, and herbs to season. When vegetables begin to take on color remove from the stockpot and set aside. Replenish olive oil and butter if need be and add 4 pounds of oxtails, and about 2 pounds gelatinous bones. Brown, turning and basting - do not allow to dry. The browning step can also be accomplished by roasting in the oven. After the oxtails take on sufficiently roasted color, add five cloves garlic and brown for 10 minutes. When the garlic becomes roasted, mash it into the oil. Add water, only enough to cover. Return the carrots, onions, and add two bay leaves, a rib or two of celery cut into inch pieces, a chopped leek if you have one, a sprig of thyme and other herbs of your choice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on the lowest heat for 3-3 1/2 hours. You can add quartered potatoes during the last half hour of cooking. If you like a richer stock, thicken with cornstarch or Wondra during the last hour. If you enjoy more flavor, add a tablespoon of catsup or a fresh tomato during the final hour of cooking.