2 1/2 pounds oxtails, cut into sections at the vertebrae
3 quarts water
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and bruised
1 piece cinnamon stick
1 whole nutmeg, cracked into several pieces
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 TBS sugar
2 tsp salt
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal about 1/4-inch thick
3-4 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1–2 ripe tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 stalk of Chinese celery (seledri), finely chopped
2 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced
2 TBS fried shallots
2 TBS fried garlic slices
peanut or vegetable oil for frying the potatoes
In a large soup pot, bring the oxtails and water to a steady boil over high heat. Use a spoon or a fine mesh skimmer to skim off any foam that rises to the surface. After you have removed as much foam as possible, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the ginger. Cover and simmer for about an hour.
Next, add the spices, including the sugar and salt, to the pot and continue to simmer, covered, for another 30–45 minutes. The meat should be just beginning to come away from the bones. Taste the broth and add salt to taste.
While the broth simmers, prepare the carrots and potatoes. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a boil. Add the carrots and boil until just tender, two to three minutes. Drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water.
Lightly fry the potatoes until they are light brown. They should be just cooked through the center. Drain on paper towels.
To serve, place some oxtail, carrots, and potatoes in a bowl. Ladle in some hot broth. Top with some wedges of ripe tomato. Sprinkle with the fried shallots, fried slices of garlic, sliced green onion, and chopped Chinese celery.
Serve with rice and sambal. Emping melinjo (melinjo crackers) are a nice accompaniment.