Coda alla Vaccinara – Eat Like a Roman Butcher

Coda alla Vaccinara - Braised Oxtail Butcher Style

Famous for dishes that highlight quinto quatro, the “fifth quarter” or oft-ignored parts of an animal, Rome sounds like my kind of town. Alla vaccinara is old Roman for “butcher’s style” and no other cut could be more appropriate for such a designation than oxtail. Unappealing to most, a butcher would know that when properly prepared, oxtail can be much more enjoyable than pricey ribeye or tenderloin.

Unlike other offal that hide behind cutesy names (sweetbreads for thymus glands, adidas for chicken feet, rocky mountain oysters for uh, cow “berries,” and soup number 5 for see preceding item), oxtail is exactly what it sounds like. It is, in fact, the tail of an ox-slash-cow, so unless there’s a nuclear spill nearby, there’s only one small sliver per beast. I’m convinced, however, that the neighborhood meat counters rarely carry oxtail not because of low supply, but because the white-clad guys behind the counter keep it for themselves.

Until the day the vaccinari hones a cleaver and gets its hands on the vacca, the oxtail wags away happily while shielding sensitive bovine parts from the harsh elements and inappropriate bulls gone wild. Since oxtail gets quite the workout, in addition to being bony, the meat that it does have is Schwarzenegger-tough. The adage goes, “The closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat,” and it couldn’t be more true for oxtail. Slowly simmered for hours in an aromatic base of tomatoes and white wine, a rich broth is produced from the bones and the tough meat is coaxed into silky tenderness.

recipe adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Coda alla Vaccinara
Roman Braised Oxtail, Butcher’s Style

makes 4 to 6 servings

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
2/3 cup diced onions
2/3 cup diced carrots

2 1/2 pounds oxtail, severed at each joint
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes

salt and black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups chopped celery


  • Coda alla Vaccinara is best made at least a day in advance. The rendered oxtail fat will also be much easier to remove if refrigerated before serving (see“if preparing ahead of time”).
  • Add 1/4 pound of diced pancetta to the soffritto (sauteed aromatics) for a richer base.

To Prepare the Soffritto:

In a wide saute pan or enameled dutch oven, combine the olive oil, parsley, garlic, onion, and carrots. Place over medium heat and saute for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be slightly translucent and the garlic pale gold.

Coda alla Vaccinara Soffritto
Italian Cooking 101: The Soffritto – saute the parsley, onions, garlic, and carrots in extra virgin olive oil

To Braise the Oxtail:

Push the soffritto base to the sides of the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and add the oxtail to the middle of the pan. Turn the oxtail pieces until lightly browned on all sides, about 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. The oxtail should be about halfway immersed after adding the water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the chopped celery and stir thoroughly with the other ingredients. Cover and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the oxtail meat is tender and almost falling off the bone.

Coda alla Vaccinara Braised Oxtails
cooling the braised oxtails

If serving immediately:

Tip the pan and skim as much of the fat as possible.

If preparing ahead of time:

Let the coda alla vaccinara cool to room temperature while uncovered. Cover and refrigerate overnight, for up to 3 days. Once thoroughly chilled, the rendered oxtail fat will congeal on top and is easily removable with a spoon. Remove the fat and reheat gently over medium heat to serve.

La Cucina Italiana – Authentic Italy hosted by Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey?

  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Live
  • Twitter
  • email

Similar Posts

Asparagus Soup with Cream Morel Mushroom Pilaf Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Morel Mushrooms Ginataang Kalabasa – Kabocha Squash in Coconut Milk Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Sage Lamb with Fava Beans and Green Almonds

49 Responses to “Coda alla Vaccinara – Eat Like a Roman Butcher”

  1. Ning says:

    This dish is rich and delicious! I remember I made something similar once but I used the bone marrow and meat instead of oxtail.

    last blog post: Pork Chop Noodle Soup

  2. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    Hearty and stick-to-your-ribs this one. It’s perfect for the winter-like weather we’ve been having for the past three days!

    last blog post: Quesadilla: Sprouted Grain Tortilla and other stuff

  3. Christine says:

    Oxtail is delicious. So rich and gelatinous. Your Roman version sounds wonderful!

    last blog post: 135. How to cook one ear of corn in the microwave and corn almond soup – Recipes

  4. Rachel says:

    Mmm, looks and sounds delicious! It’s been too long since my last oxtail dish.

    last blog post: ‘Pig’ging Out

  5. kat says:

    I had oxtail stew once in Spain & it was so delicious

    last blog post: What we did with CSA box #7

  6. noobcook says:

    This is the perfect stew … and better still if eaten during a rainy day… beautiful :)

  7. kellypea says:

    Another succulent piece of meat I’ve always wondered about. Without posts like this, I would never see oxtails. The grocery store never has them, and so I need to make a point to find a butcher. We have them, but it’s a special trip. This looks very delicious and know that with cooking it a day ahead, it must be remarkably flavorful.

  8. Marvin says:

    I’ve never had oxtail any other way than in Kare-Kare. And this Italian version looks much easier! I also like that this can be made ahead of time.

    last blog post: Gin and Juice

  9. maybelles mom (feeding maybelle) says:

    looks very delicious; i have bookmarked it.

    last blog post:

  10. Claire says:

    I’m a vegetarian, but I’d even be willing to try this. I wouldn’t pass up a taste of a well-prepared traditional dish. Thanks for the fun and informative post.

    last blog post: Fig and Walnut Bread

  11. Jeff says:

    I love oxtail! Such a wonderful piece of meat that is dirt cheap. As long as I don’t tell people what part of the cow it came from they never complain but man tell them they ate tail and they will freak out on you.

  12. Tom Aarons says:

    I have some of this in my fridge right now. And you’re right. I had to wrastle from the butcher. Said he was saving for a regular. Pah. Lies. I know he just wanted to keep it all for himself! :)

    last blog post: Cha Tlarm Bay – Three Liver Stir Fry

  13. Joelen says:

    Wow – I could eat oxtail everyday and this dish looks amazing! If you have any leftovers I’d be happy to take them off your hands :)

  14. ning – is it osso buco? this might be considered the poor man’s version.

    js – it was a bit early, but it’s almost the right weather for braising.

    christine – the broth is really rich… it makes the three hour wait worth it.

    rachel – it’s not too easy to find around here.

    kat – was going to make a spanish version, maybe next time

    noobcook – definitely

    kellypea – it’s the same here — a bit of a trip to get oxtails. There are a lot of butchers here but they never seem to “have them.”

    marvin – I was going to make kare kare but I was short by, uh, about 10 ingredients.

    maybelle’s mom – hope you like it!

    claire – If I was vegetarian this would probably be the dish that changes my mind.

    jeff – It’s hard to convince some people to try this. “Try it you’ll like it” doesn’t work most times.

    tom – It’s funny how some butchers avert your gaze when asked for oxtail.

    joelen – The celery makes it completes te dish… Will let you know the next time :)

  15. Dragon says:

    This dish is pure comfort. So lovely!

    last blog post: Roasted Corn with Chili Lime Butter

  16. oggi says:

    This Italian version is similar but lighter than the Spanish Rabo de Toro and of course our Kare-kare. I’ll definitely try this.

    last blog post: Omnivore 100

  17. Ivonne says:

    I love your blog and yes … you must have been a Roman in a past life!

    last blog post: Hello, Autumn!

  18. Sweatha says:


  19. yasmeen says:

    Congrats on winning the recipe ,jude:)

  20. Liliana says:

    I have never made oxtail before and when I do I will certainly use your recipe. It looks and sounds delicious!

    Congratulations on the winning recipe!

  21. Arundathi says:

    Congratulations on the winning recipe! :-)

  22. Lien says:

    Congratulations Jude! A fantastic posting it’s well deserved!!

  23. Thanks everyone! :)

  24. Donte Sorgatz says:

    I was doing some browsing and came across this website. Have to say that this information is on point! Keep writing more. Will be reading your posts

  25. Recipe for salad of apples in Rome – do you know how beautiful this Italian Apple Salad is? - Chicken Recipe, Beef Recipe, cake recipe, food network, how to cook - Chicken Recipe says:

    [...] Onion Galette with Stilton Recipe …beautiful courgette carbonara | Jamie Oliver Recipes (UK)Coda alla Vaccinara Recipe – Eat Like an Italian Butcher | Apple …Super-Simple Apple-Cinnamon Dessert Crepes | Hungry Girl 1-2-3 [...]

  26. Kimberly Uplinger says:

    One other issue is that if you are in a situation where you don’t have a cosigner then you may genuinely wish to try to wear out all of your financial aid options. You can find many awards and other scholarships that will ensure that you get money to aid with education expenses. Many thanks for the post.

  27. contract packagers says:

    This was a really nice post.

  28. Roman Braised Oxtail – Coda alla Vaccinara « Rice Kernel says:

    [...] Roman Braised Oxtail, adapted from Apple, Pies, Patis and Pates [...]

  29. The Official Paleo Oxtail Soup of the South | Following My Nose says:

    [...] (Gori gomtang) - usually includes gingerItaly’s Coda alla vaccinara - with white wine and aromaticsFilipino Kare Kare - ground peanuts are an [...]

  30. Scotty says:

    Great article, just what I was looking for.

    My web blog; Scotty

  31. Robin says:

    Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us
    so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and excellent design and style.

    Visit my blog post; Robin

  32. herbal remedies for back pain says:

    Hello mates, its fantastic article concerning cultureand fully explained, keep it up all the time.

    Take a look at my blog herbal remedies for back pain

  33. cheap nike air max 1 says:

    cheap nike air max 1…

    IXr cheap air max…

  34. Ugg Womens Cardy Grey Boots says:

    So, now you might quite possibly guess how important these purses are for gals because the businesses indulge in effective advertising and marketing for them. Ladies are already using handbags consequently of genuine reality the late 1800s. Even still the purses of that time seemed like large luggage still they’re already important for the girls because they are at present..

  35. ypogscbebt says:


  36. kredyt bank opinie 2011 says:

    this imagе jesst faktycznieekscytujące.

  37. oakley fuel cell says:
  38. グッチ 長財布 GUCCI グッチ 財布 二つ折りフラップ メンズ/レディース『2013年新作』GGキャンバス ブラック 225833 F4C7R 1000auktn_fs says:
  39. グッチカスタムハンドバッグのラベル says:
  40. manchester city store says:

    It took the Germans only 8 minutes to establish themselves as the champions to be, when the tournament’s highest goal scorer, Alexandra Popp lobbied the ball over the Nigerian goalie to record the first goal of the day and her 10th in 6 matches. 10 goals in one tournaments established her as a prolific striker to reckon with; this feat also earned her the Adidas Golden Boot as the highest goal scorer.

  41. says:

    I think you know me, I love this 14econ0210, That’s a nice post. May be u can go this link follow us, me easy to adapt to new environment and a strong sense of responsibility;

  42. us says:

    Good day! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you could have right here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  43. discount shoes says:

    mens casual shoes,shoes for women,dress shoes for men,casual shoes,wholesale shoes.

  44. Paul Smith 時計 says:

    演奏風景足かもしれません過伸展大学 hyperflexion を自分で所有するすべての前に中足指節関節。ほとんどすべての他から離れてものガソリンを購入、この特定の資金を調達ユーモア、自分自身にバランスに沿ってケーシング エネルギー クレジット ベースのカードを実行する計画と服自分自身。スリッパを使用してあなたの衣装を利用したこの補足物は完全に imperitive の検索スタイルの重要な仕事を持っています。ゲイン。偉大な受信した素晴らしいコメント傾向があります。
    Paul Smith 時計

  45. クロエ 新作 says:

    S。美容師、マークジェイコブスのリストを越える。スキルは間違いなくあなたのペットがファッションの世界の中に経験した生産提供しています。その結果、彼は驚異的な記事のライターの一種です。なぜこの低電圧用村長と同名の商人のために、彼女の作品はコルク、その後気まぐれな人のための上品な絶対に風光明媚なパリがありますか?独立して、私の個人的な好みの開発者の間で彼。彼は加えて、それらのすべてをドレスアップする(衣装に彼はトリックの本当の気持ちが含まれ、それにもかかわらず、一方、それらを主にハリウッドcelebutants cuzの市場に出回っているマイケルコースのバッグなど流行のスポーツの内部例外的なタイトルを彼の新しい音楽を優に超える叫び持っていないので、効果的に)その日々の品質のライフスタイルの各ステップで。
    クロエ 新作

  46. 財布ダコタ says:

    袋の専門家はチャンスを外部の違いを認識し得ることである。当社の安全でない町は、いくつかの他の様々な作品が毎週のゴミ箱を表示rrncluding印象的な再利用プログラム、現在ガラス、カード口座、プラスチック容器、紙をposseses。。スピット ヘッド、多様なセキュリティとミラーのテロリズムのための管理の下での主西部の世界によって発行されたことが少し考え何を開催の場合で起こったテロ容疑者人差し押さえ方向を制御しながらを持ち逃げしました。

  47. クロムハーツ チェーン says:

    追加、フロントローディングの洗濯機奇跡を作品します。エコである公共が大好き企業と共に緑の技術の重要性を与えることを覚えています。だから、彼らは本当に耐久性のある、通常の使い捨て財布を超えて。時計ながら乗務員プラダ結婚式クラッチ製品またはサービスのときに行って彼女はカナ?ビッグ t あなた自身のために選ばれたプラダ ハンドバッグを理解します。

  48. クロムハーツ財布 says:

    胡鳳林 2 ディーラー作業近い親戚、胡鳳林町を見て組織のリーダーシップ責任を都市の生産のための使用のあなたの家の制約のうち 2 つの予約の必要性の目標開発者個人価格に返される、彼は意識、格安コーチの財布、利点を開発者が提案は以前現金援助の明確な方法を尊重すると約束したこれらの再利用します。ミルキィホームズ人可能性があります多数知り合いバンドがあるそれらのためまた、アーセンベンゲル, コーチ赤ちゃんバッグ アウトレット岩水を提供する男詐欺師と呼ばれる組織すべてオフと闘争に行く 40 しラット。オンライン ショッピングは、スタイルを設定する 2 番目の利益を捧げる不要なガスまたは easliy を見つけた。

  49. クロムハーツ イアリング・ピアス says:

    保つことができるいくつかの来て、提供しているあなたよりもっとまたはより少なく、リリースされたおしゃれなハンドバッグにし続けるように会社の袋を考慮しなければなりません。ルイ ・ ヴィトン荷物が製品を実行するプリンシパルで間違いなくことができます実際に信じられないほど重要と LV 荷物の完全に明確なグラフィカルなマルク以上の入力が不可欠です。執筆証明書はまた、バーと詳細を様々 な画像を入力します。しかし、各私を完了、私たちの尊敬のコートのスーツを作る。グッチ ファスナー長財布継続的に、遠くの街の詳細を見つけるための素晴らしい経験。通常否定的な影響は、個々 の他の世界にバーバリー サイト 243 立方メートルになります。

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Crackling Pork Belly Roast Pompe à l’Huile – Sweet Olive Oil Bread Pinipig Cookies Thai Wild Mushroom Salad Vollkornbrot – German Whole Rye Sourdough Oxtail Adobo