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Coda alla vaccinara (slaughtermen’s braised oxtail)

Coda alla vaccinara remains one of the more traditional meat dishes of Rome today - alongside abbacchio al forno (roast suckling lamb).

You'll need

1.2 kg large oxtail pieces 2 tbsp olive oil 30 gm pork back-fat, finely chopped 2 onions, finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 200 ml dry white wine 800 ml veal stock 400 ml tomato passata ½ celeriac (about 400gm), cut into 1cm pieces 4 rosemary sprigs 2 fresh bay leaves 1 tsp red wine vinegar Pinch of caster sugar To serve: crusty bread and a simple leaf salad   Gremolata ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley Finely grated rind of ½ lemon ½ garlic clove, finely chopped


  • 01
  • Combine oxtail in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover, bring to the simmer over medium heat and cook to remove some of the fat (45 minutes). Drain and set aside.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over high heat, add back-fat and stir occasionally to render (2-4 minutes), remove fat pieces with a slotted spoon (discard), then add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and stir occasionally until golden (10-12 minutes). Deglaze pan with white wine and cook until reduced by half (2-4 minutes). Add oxtail, stock, passata, celeriac, herbs, vinegar and sugar, season to taste, bring to the simmer over low heat, cover closely with a round of baking paper and roast until meat is falling from the bone (1½-2 hours). Remove oxtail and vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep warm, then simmer sauce over medium heat until slightly reduced and flavourful (15-30 minutes).
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for gremolata, combine ingredients and set aside.
  • 04
  • Return oxtail and vegetables to the pan and serve warm with gremolata, crusty bread and a leaf salad.

Note Pork back-fat is available from butchers.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Drink Suggestion

A full-bodied red such as a primitivo.

Featured in

May 2011

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