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Coda alla vaccinara (slaughtermen’s braised oxtail)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for coda alla vaccinara (slaughtermen’s braised oxtail).

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 6
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 3 hrs 15 mins cooking
Coda alla vaccinara (slaughtermen’s braised oxtail)
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).

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

Main
  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for gremolata, combine ingredients and set aside.
  • 4
    Return oxtail and vegetables to the pan and serve warm with gremolata, crusty bread and a leaf salad.

Notes

Note Pork back-fat is available from butchers.
Drink Suggestion: A full-bodied red such as a primitivo. Drink suggestion by Max Allen