Coda Alla Vaccinara

By WeLike2Cook
April 28, 2011
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Author Notes: A family favorite has always been Coda Alla Vaccinara which is Roman Oxtail Stew. Roman butchers, called "vaccinari" (cow workers) were very skilled and famous for their ability to refine any cut of meat. The “vaccinara” was the butchers’ wives. Over a fifty year period, the cooking of the vaccinara (originally thought to be inferior,) became renowned citywide and evolved into dishes for Italian connoisseurs. WeLike2Cook

Serves: 4 people

  • 2 pounds meaty oxtails, cut into pieces 2 ½-3” thick
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces fat from prosciutto or fatty salt pork, finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, trimmed, and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, trimmed, and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Chianti or other dry Italian red wine
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes
  • 3-4 ribs celery, cut crosswise into thirds and blanched
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Put oil, prosciutto fat, onions, chopped celery, and carrots into a large, heavy casserole and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fat has rendered and vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add wine and cook, scraping browned bits stuck to bottom of casserole with a wooden spoon, until liquid has reduced by a quarter, 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally to break up tomatoes, for 2 hours.
  4. Add previously blanched celery pieces, cover again, and continue simmering until meat is very tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour more.
  5. Serve in large bowls with plenty of pan juices and crusty bread. Don't be afraid to nibble on the bones to get every succulent tidbit!

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