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The coda alla vaccinara is a traditional Roman recipe consisting of stewed oxtail with vegetables… a hearty, robust dish, proving that traditional cuisine is always the best! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English)
Today we’ll be making together the coda alla vaccinara, a traditional Roman dish consisting of stewed oxtail with vegetables. You can find several versions of this recipe throughout the city: today we’ll see the richest one, with the addition of raisins, pine nuts and unsweetened cocoa powder. Let’s get to work!
Ingredients for 4 servings
• 2,2 lbs (1 kg) of veal or oxtail
• 3,5 oz (100 g) of lardo
• 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion
• 1 carrot
• 2 stalks of celery
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
• 3-4 cloves
• 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) of dry white wine
• 2,2 lbs (1 kg) of canned peeled tomatoes, drained
• salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce
• 3 stalks of white celery
• 1/5 cup (30 g) of raisins
• 2 1/3 tbsp (20 g) of pine nuts
• 1 level tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
First of all, take a large pot, pour in the oil, add the roughly chopped lardo and sauté until golden brown… then add the oxtail, that has been cut up, in this way: take the oxtail and cut into chunks; do not break up the bone, but use a sharp knife to cut between the joints and separate the bones. If you are not skilled enough, ask your butcher to do it for you. Once cut into joints, rinse under cold running water to get rid of the blood. Otherwise you can soak the pieces in cold water, changing the soaking water about 3-4 times; then drain and pat them dry with a clean cloth. In this case, I am using veal tail, because it’s more tender, but the original recipe calls for oxtail, which has more blood in it, so you’ll need to rinse it several times and cook it longer. Ok, when the lardo is golden brown, add the tail pieces and sauté until they turn white.
Here we are, the meat has turned white, so we can add the cloves… the chopped onion, garlic, carrot and celery… and the chopped parsley… and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Once absorbed, pour in the white wine, add salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame.
20 minutes have passed, the liquid has almost evaporated as you can see; now add the peeled tomatoes, that have been drained and roughly cut into chunks. Of course, you can use fresh ripe tomatoes, if they are in season. Now stir, cover with a lid and cook for at least 2-3 hours, depending on the age and quality of the animal: the meat will be done when it starts to come away from the bone. If it dries out during cooking, you can add a ladleful of hot water. The heat has to be very low.
Here we are, 4 hours have passed. Now take out a ladleful of sauce… place in a bowl… and mix in the unsweetened cocoa powder. I want to remind you something: according to other recipes, the preparation would be over and you could use the sauce for pasta or spooned over the meat. This recipe is more elaborate and calls for unsweetened cocoa powder to be dissolved in the tomato sauce, as I’m doing now… Add the celery, that has been washed under running water, cleaned from leaves and strings, cut into strips and blanched. Now add the pine nuts… the raisins, that have been soaked and squeezed… and, finally, the sauce… in which the cocoa powder has been dissolved. Mix well, then cook for another 15 minutes and our coda alla vaccinara is ready to serve!