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Coda alla vaccinara

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Coda alla vaccinara is a modern Roman stew made of "oxtail" (in fact, usually veal tail) and various vegetables.

Its introduction dates back to times when it was customary to pay a vaccinaro (cattle butcher) in kind with the entrails, hide, and tail of the animal. Butchers developed a way of turning their fee into a delicacy, thus coda alla vaccinara was formed. Today, almost every Roman household has its unique recipe to cook coda.

The veal tail is parboiled and then simmered with large amounts of celery, carrots, and aromatic herbs. Following this, tomatoes and wine are added, 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 bittersweet chocolate. Coda is generally prepared in advance and reheated. Leftovers can be used as a sauce for fettuccine.

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References

Coda alla vaccinara, wikipedia.org

Coda alla vaccinara, www.foodnetwork.com

Cooking the Roman Way, italianfood.about.com