Coda for Two

Coda is short for ‘Coda alla vaccinara’, i.e. oxtail stew (see an earlier post I wrote about it earlier this year in April).  I bought a small batch of the tail of the animal, that the butcher had already cut into chunks, with the intention of  cooking it to use as a pasta sauce.  I changed my mind as is my wont when I feel I am in need of revivification (‘a change is as good as a rest’) and thought to myself, “Who says one has to make only large quantities of coda?” and hence the following recipe and title “Coda for Two”, i.e. enough for two people with a healthy appetite.

First of all, I rinsed the meat several times and then let it boil/simmer in plenty of water for a good 40 minutes in order to tenderise it.

While it is boiling, the meat gives off a lot of scum which rises to the surface of the simmering water.

Remove the scum by and by using a slatted spoon or even a small colander.

Then drain the meat …. ouff, all that steam!

First, settle the meat down in an earthenware pot which is brilliant for slow cooking.  If you don’t have one, never mind.  Just remember to keep the flame very low throughout the entire cooking time.

Second, drizzle some olive oil.

Roughly chop up some onion and carrot …

And then slather a lot of tomato sauce (passata di pomodoro) or roughly chopped plum tomatoes or even fresh tomatoes all over the meat and veggies that are so snug-as-a-bug-in-an-earthenware-rug.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

Cover the pot and braise on a very low heat for at least two hours.

Excuse the bad photo … here is the coda, after two hours’ cooking, gleaming away but not ready, so don’t turn the heat off yet.

Now add some chopped celery (only the stalk) and carry on cooking for another 15 minutes.

When the quarter of an hour is up, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder.

Blend everything well, put the lid back on and cook for a further quarter of an hour.

While the cooking reaches its end, toast a handful of pine kernels (careful, keep an eye on them, they can burn easily).

Remove the lid, turn the heat off, add the toasted pine kernels and mix well.  Taste the sauce to make sure it doesn’t need an extra little pinch of salt and maybe a touch more pepper.

Garnish the dish with the tenderest of celery leaves.  And serve …

You’ll need plenty of crusty bread to mop up the sauce … and you may even have to ‘gnaw’ on the knuckles to get at all the meat that a knife and fork can’t cope with.  Coda does not make for elegant table manners … but who cares?  You can always wash your hands afterwards!

Not much left except for the knuckles … a sign that the coda was good.

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About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
This entry was posted in italian home food, Secondi (main course, usually meat based), Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Coda for Two

  1. Very nostalgic for me … my gran and mother used to cook lots of things like oxtail, hearts, liver … Not tried cooking oxtail myself but I bet this was really delicious!!

  2. Pingback: Head Nodding, Sighing and Enjoying Roman-style Oxtail Stew – Coda di bue alla vaccinara | My Home Food That's Amore

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