Recipe courtesy of Nella Solovyousky

Oxtail Borscht and Tongue Salad

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Oxtail Stock: 

1 1/2 pounds oxtails, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces and washed

1 carrot, peeled

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 onion, peeled, plus 1/2 onion, chopped


1 very large beet, trimmed and scrubbed

3 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/2 head green cabbage, shredded

1 cup chopped and seeded red bell pepper

1 cup tomato paste or ketchup

Kosher salt

Dried bay leaves

Black peppercorns

Sour cream, for serving

Brown bread, for serving

Chopped garlic, for serving

Beef Tongue Salad, for serving, recipe follows

Beef Tongue Salad:

One 3 to 4-pound beef tongue, scrubbed

1 carrot, peeled

1 onion, peeled, plus 2 tablespoons chopped onions

Dried bay leaves

Whole black peppercorns

Kosher salt

Ice water, for chilling

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup mayonnaise

Freshly ground black pepper

Romaine lettuce leaves

Chopped fresh dill


  1. For the oxtail stock: Put the oxtails, carrot, celery and onions in a pot and cover with water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until the meat is very tender and falling apart, 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes. Discard the onions and celery from the stock. Remove the carrot, grate, and set aside. Remove and shred or chop the meat from the oxtail, discarding the fat, sinews and bone. 
  2. For the borscht: Meanwhile, put the beet in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl and let sit until cool enough to handle. Rub the skin off and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Add to the grated cooked carrot. Add the potatoes to the oxtail stock and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the red peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Bring to a boil, and then add the grated cooked carrots and beets and the tomato paste. Season with salt and add some bay leaves and peppercorns. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve the borscht with sour cream, bread, garlic and Beef Tongue Salad. 

Beef Tongue Salad:

  1. Put the tongue, carrot, whole onion, bay leaves, some black peppercorns and some salt in a large pot, and then cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the tongue is tender, about 3 hours. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and discard the skin covering the tongue, and then dice. Put the diced tongue in a mixing bowl and add the chopped onions and garlic. Stir in the mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper. Mound on a bed of lettuce and garnish with dill.