Ina Garten's rich beef barley soup is a good recipe that has received many good reviews on the Food Network website. It calls for beef oxtails to be simmered with vegetables, barley, herbs and spices.
To make beef barley soup, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot. Add 2 pounds of beef oxtails, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and brown the meat over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove the oxtails with a slotted spoon, and set them aside. Add 2 cups of chopped leeks, 4 diced carrots, 1 cup of chopped yellow onion, 2 diced celery stalks and 2 minced garlic cloves.
Cook the vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add 2 fresh sprigs of thyme and 3 bay leaves. Put the oxtails back in the pot, and add 10 cups of beef broth. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, then raise the heat and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for one hour. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and skim any fat from the top of the soup.
While the soup is cooking, salt and boil 4 cups of water. Add 1 cup of pearled barley, and cook it uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain the barley, and add it to the soup, cooking for another 20 minutes or until it is tender.