Coda Alla Vaccinara Stewed Oxtail

Coda Alla Vaccinara Stewed Oxtail

Coda alla vaccinara is a traditional Roman dish that is typically made with oxtail, tomato sauce, and vegetables. The dish has a long history that dates back to the Renaissance, when it was originally prepared by the vaccinari, or the local slaughterhouse workers in Rome. The dish was originally made using the leftover parts of the cow that were not sold to the wealthy, and the vaccinari would cook the meat for themselves and their families using basic ingredients and cooking methods.

Over time, coda alla vaccinara has become a beloved and iconic dish of the Roman cuisine, and it is now commonly found on the menus of local restaurants and trattorias. The dish has even been designated as a “traditional agro-food product” by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food, and Forestry Policies.

To prepare coda alla vaccinara, oxtail is braised for several hours in a tomato-based sauce that includes vegetables such as celery, onions, and carrots. Other ingredients can include raisins, pine nuts, and dark chocolate, which add sweetness and depth to the dish. The long cooking time allows the meat to become tender and fall off the bone, while the sauce becomes rich and flavorful.

Coda alla Vaccinara is a classic Roman dish made with stewed oxtail. Here is a recipe for this delicious and hearty dish:


Course Meats


  • 2-3 pounds oxtail cut into pieces
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 3 celery stalk chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 leek cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the oxtail pieces and brown on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the oxtail from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the onion, carrot, and celery to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and leek, cook for another minute.
  • Pour in the red wine and let it cook for a few minutes to reduce slightly.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaf, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  • Return the oxtail to the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the stew simmer, partially covered, for 3-4 hours, or until the oxtail is tender and falls off the bone.
  • Remove the bay leaf and season the stew with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve the coda alla vaccinara hot, garnished with chopped parsley.


This dish is traditionally served with rigatoni pasta, but you can also serve it with crusty bread or over a bed of creamy polenta. Enjoy!

Coda alla vaccinara is typically served as a main course, often accompanied by a side of mashed potatoes, polenta, or pasta. The dish is hearty and filling, so it is often served in smaller portions than other meat dishes. A glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Sangiovese, is a good choice to pair with coda alla vaccinara and can help to balance out the richness of the dish.

In summary, coda alla vaccinara is a traditional Roman dish that has a long and interesting history. It is typically made with oxtail, tomato sauce, and vegetables, and is served as a main course with a side of mashed potatoes, polenta, or pasta. A glass of red wine can help to complement the dish and make for a satisfying and delicious meal.