Coda alla vaccinara remains one of the more traditional meat dishes of Rome today - alongside abbacchio al forno (roast suckling lamb).
- 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
- ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1Combine 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.
- 2Preheat 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).
- 3Meanwhile, for gremolata, combine ingredients and set aside.
- 4Return 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.
Drink Suggestion: A full-bodied red such as a primitivo. Drink suggestion by Max Allen