Monday, April 21, 2008

Coda Alla Vaccinara

I looked in both Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and The Silver Spoon. I mostly went Marcella-style here. Yep, I still call her Marcella in my head. Yep, still a little embarrassing.

Oxtail, prepped by your butcher (seriously, there's no way, with my knack for dumb accidents, that I am hacking that thing apart), about 2 or more pounds. I actually had about 1.5 pounds worth.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
1.5 cups white wine
1/2 to 3/4 cup tomatoes, drained and diced (in my world, at this time of year, that's about 1/2 can)
salt and pepper
1.5-2 ribs celery, chopped

Put the olive oil in a heavy pan that has a lid, add the onion, garlic and carrot and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring regularly.

Turn the heat up to medium high, shove the vegetables aside (but don't remove them) and add the oxtail, browning on all sides (and remember to stir the vegetables so that they don't scorch). Once the oxtail is well-browned, add the wine, and stir to get the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan (yes, I know, it's fond, dahling). Let it simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and about a cup of water. Stir everything around, bring to a boil, and then cover (with the lid a little ajar) and turn the heat down to a low but steady simmer for the next 90 minutes or so. Give the oxtail a turn and stir every 30 minutes or so. You could also dump it in the oven instead of using the stovetop. Up to you.

After about 90 minutes, add the celery, and then cook for another 60 minutes, or until the meat comes pretty easily off of the bone. When it looks ready to eat, spoon off some of the fat and serve.


cook eat FRET said...

poor man's osso buco?
i've never had it - but i would...
i've been hearing a lot about it lately

Meg said...

in prep, it is pretty similar, but the results are much darker in flavor, in a good way. And with the weather we've been having here, that dark, stew-y flavor has been pretty appealing.