Braised Oxtail Cooking Recipe – Coda Alla Vaccinara Recipe

Braised Oxtail Cooking Recipe – Coda Alla Vaccinara Recipe

This dish originated on the streets of Regola, the neighborhood where most of the vaccinari—workers from the Roman slaughterhouses—lived.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 4 hours


  • 3 ½ oz. (100 g) guanciale (cured pork cheek flavored with herbs) or pancetta (unsmoked bacon)
  • 4 lb. (1.8 kg) oxtail and ox cheek (e.g. 1 tail and 2 cheeks)
  • 1 clove garlic 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • A few sprigs of parsley 8 sticks of celery
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
  • 1 lb. (500 g) peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • Salt, pepper


  • 1 degreasing ladle

Braised Oxtail Cooking Recipe - Coda Alla Vaccinara Recipe 1

Cooking Method

  • Peel the garlic, carrot, and onion and chop them all.
  • Wash the parsley, remove the stalks, and chop finely.
  • Wash the celery and cut the sticks into sections.
  • Soak the raisins in water.

Chop the guanciale.

  • Rinse the ox meat several times thoroughly under running water and cut into pieces.
  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the meat and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the meat. Degrease the stock with a degreasing ladle and set aside.
  • Color the pieces of meat in a large casserole (preferably made of terracotta), with the olive oil and guanciale.
  • Add the carrots, onions, garlic, parsley, and the cloves.
  • When the vegetables become translucent, deglaze with the red wine.
  • Add the peeled tomatoes and 1 glass of water; season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook for 3 hours over low heat.
  • Stir from time to time, adding a little stock if necessary to prevent the mixture drying out.
  • Add the celery and cook 20 minutes more, then add the pine nuts, soaked raisins, and cocoa.
  • Continue cooking for a few minutes.
  • At the end of the cooking time, the sauce should be quite thick and the meat should come away from the bone easily.
  • Serve hot, with good-quality bread.

Suggested food/wine match

  • Castel de Paolis, Campo Vecchio Rosso—Lazio IGT

Chef’s notes

You can reduce the cooking time for the meat to 1 hour by using a pressure cooker.
The original traditional recipe recommends cooking both oxtail and cheeks together. You can nevertheless prepare this dish without the ox cheeks, or with- out the cocoa.

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