The coda alla vaccinara (in Italian, “coda” means tail) is another food tied to the Roman tradition of the “quintoquarto”, the result of the inventiveness of the roman poorer class, able to create a recipe that has now entered into the history of Rome.
The story of the coda alla vaccinara is born in the heart of Rome, in the Regola district, where the “vaccinari” lived; they were the slaughterers working in the near slaughterhouse. These workers were paid at the end of the day even with animal waste, which could not be sold to the wealthy class.
Some of these scraps were difficult to cook: the tail and cheeks, for example, were tough and had a very strong taste due to the high concentration of blood; but it is known that in difficult times nothing is thrown away.
After several attempts the recipe of the coda alla vaccinara was created.
Indeed, there are two versions of this plate, both considered original, which differ mainly in the final part of the preparation. One version, the poorest, uses the animal’s tail and cheeks – usually veal or beef – simply cooked in gravy; the other version, spread among the wealthy population, involves adding bitter cocoa, raisins, pine nuts and spices almost at the end of cooking.
The tail is been boiled, so that the broth can be used to prepare other dishes and, for example, season a plate of rigatoni.
The recipe that we propose below is the richest one and provides for the use of cocoa, pine nuts and raisins. These ingredients are added at the end of cooking, so if you prefer the simple version, just skip the last step.
The original recipe includes the use of lard, but you can also not put it and use onlly olive oil.
The doses are for 4 people.
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