Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup)

- 2 lbs. oxtail - 3 inches of ginger, unpeeled but smashed - 3 nutmeg seeds, roughly broken - 20 cloves - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper - salt to taste - 3 carrots - 2 leeks, chopped into 1 inch chunks - 1 scallion, chopped into 1 inch chunks - 2 medium potatoes, chopped into 8 chunks each - 2 tomatoes - 1 cup chopped celery - fried shallots - 1 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil
1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the oxtail generously and add the ginger. 2. Bring the water to a boil, add the oxtail, and boil for three minutes. 3. Pour out the water and discard the ginger. 4. Refill the pot (still with the oxtail) with cold water and bring to a boil. Add the cloves and nutmeg, and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours until the meat is tender. 5. Heat butter/oil in a pan over medium heat, add carrot, leek, and scallion and saute for 3 minutes, then add to the soup along with the potatoes, pepper, and salt to taste. 6. Cover and simmer for twenty minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. 7. Ladle into bowls and garnish with celery, tomato slices, and fried shallots. 8. Serve hot with rice and emping crackers.