Coda alla vaccinara
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Lazio|
|Main ingredients||Oxtail, celery, carrot|
|Variations||Rigatoni al sugo di coda|
|Cookbook: Coda alla vaccinara Media: Coda alla vaccinara|
Coda alla vaccinara is a modern Roman oxtail stew made from oxtail and various vegetables, most notably celery. Its introduction dates back to times when it was customary to pay a vaccinaro (cattle butcher) in kind with quinto quarto.
The oxtail is parboiled and then simmered with large amounts of celery (there should be 1.5 kilo of celery for every kilo of tail), carrots, and aromatic herbs. Tomatoes and red wine are added, and then the mixture is cooked further with a soffritto of onions, garlic, prosciutto, pancetta and some other ingredients. During the final phase of cooking, a bouquet garni of bay leaves, celery stalks, and cloves is put in the pot for flavouring. Tail should be cooked such a long time that meat easily separates from the bones. It is seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper and garnished with pine nuts.
Coda is usually prepared to taste sweet-and-sour, usually using raisins, or sometimes candied fruit or a small amount of grated bittersweet chocolate. Coda is generally prepared in advance and reheated. Leftovers can be used as a sauce for rigatoni, which is then named rigatoni al sugo di coda.
Coda is admittedly the favourite dish of the protagonist Giacinto Mazzatella (Nino Manfredi) in Down and Dirty. He expresses his appreciation of the dish with the words "Oxtail and celery are like man and woman. It's all well when one sticks to the other."
- Boni, Ada (1983) . La Cucina Romana (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori.