Rub a large, heavy pan with
the salt pork. Place it in the pan with the oxtail, salt,
pepper, thyme, bay leaf, parsley sprig, and water; bring
to a boil. Lower heat; partially cover and simmer slowly
for 4 hours. Strain the broth and remove the meat from the
oxtail joints; discard the bones. Return the meat to the
strained broth and add the barley or rice. Cover and cook
over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the carrot, leek, onion,
celery, potato, and bacon and simmer covered for 30 minutes
more. Taste for seasoning and add Madeira. Garnish each
serving with parsley.
Editors Note: Oxtails
make very flavorful soup because of the gelatinous matter
they contain. But it may be difficult to find oxtails at
a regular supermarket meat department. You may need to deal
with a local butcher or slaughterhouse.