Ox tail in the style of the Roman Butcher.

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by moikel, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This from Salute Wine & Food of Southern Italy by G &K Donovan & S Griffiths. I have made it for years tweaked it a bit but credit where credits due.

    Origins in the stockyard district of Rome where the butchers of Forum Baarium were given tails,cheeks etc as payment.(Rome had a meatpacking district!!)

    I am just going to set out ingredients then go for a kayak on Sydney Harbour( the upstream quiet bit) then come home & cook it.Photos then.

    for 4 ish people. 2.5 kg oxtail cut crossways about 5cm thick,salt ,cbp,plain flour,EVO 120GM pancetta,3 cloves, 3 small onions cut in half,3 cloves of garlic,2 cups of white wine or vermouth 800gm tin  tomatoes,12 sticks of celery peeled destringed cut into 6 cm lengths 2 x tabs toasted pine nuts,2 x tabs sultanas.

    Now thats as per,I  add a bit of beef stock or chicken,bit more garlic,but thats just me.

    The pinenuts /sultanas say Sicily or Venice to me & take it a bit upmarket but who am I to be picky[​IMG]

    The rest is straight forward.

    Fry pancetta/EVO in a big casserole dish or dutch oven.Remove .Flour oxtail in seasoned flour fry in batches in so it fries not stews.

    Return oxtail to pan stud 1/2 onion with 3 cloves,put that & rest of onion,garlic,pancetta in heat  until sizzling .Add wine reduce add tomatoes stock. I then put a tight lid on it & bake it in oven until meat will fall of bones maybe 4 hours ,turn it maybe 2 to 3 times,top up with stock/wine if its looking to reduced.

    Then add celery ,make sure you cover it with sauce bake 20 minutes.Then add pine nuts & sultanas bake until celery is tender 10 minutes.

    Done. I will serve it with mashed potato & some bitter greens,dandelion,chicory sort of thing. Lots of napkins & a bottle of GSM,(Aussie for Cote du Rhone grenache,shiraz,mouvredere)

    Photos later. 
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    That will work! I am a huge fan of Oxtails but the family is not crazy about all the bone sucking and chewy bits. I especially love the jelly like texture of the cartilage disks between the vertebrae. I make 1.5 Kilos 1-2 times a year just for myself. Add some Coconut Rice and Red Beans and some steamed Cabbage and I'm up to my wrists in Gravy in short order...JJ
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]......   Mick...... I pick up some ox tails last week....  this looks good....  
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Battery flat in camera[​IMG].I will get to it. I do like oxtail its one of those messy meals but its got great flavour.Starting now.Had to use phone for photos.Floured ,pancetta left front.Pan is called a french saute here.Its got big surface ,tight lid call it what you want.Dont know why the frogs get all the credit[​IMG]

  6. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just about to put tomato in. I make it a bit wetter than the recipe ,dont evaporate the wine/vermouth done so much + a bit of homemade beef stock.Avoid temptation to bump tomato its not meant to be a red sauce.

    Chef JJ somewhere in my memory is a Jamaican dish of ox tail served with "rice & peas".I will dig through my books.

    I will have to get this done in under 4 hours ,oven was preheated they browned for a bit.

    I figure this is old school cookery where ever its from[​IMG]  Rome ,the plantations of the south or where ever the poor made great food out of the ingredients that were available to them.

    I have served it with polenta before which cant be that different from grits ,can it?
  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ready for celery to go in.Very aromatic,cloves a nice touch.Moved it to stove top lid off to reduce sauce a bit.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm interested Mick. The recipe I use is a variation on Jamaican Oxtails. I make Spinners too. I use the same recipe for Pot Roast with a 2-3 Kilo piece of Chuck Roast, that the family will eat but it has nowhere near the gelatin and rich mouth feel of the Oxtails...JJ
  10. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  11. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now that was a meal to remember !l[​IMG].
  12. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That looks like great plate full of flavor!


    I like to use ox tails for strong broths.
  13. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Early settlers here used to make what they called " beef tea" a strong stock .Fed it to people who were sick or recovering . Ox tail like this can easy be a 2nd meal over pasta the next day.Sauce is really thick & silky.
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks Fantastic!!!!
  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Moikel,

    Wow! Your roman oxtail dish looks absolutely fantastic. You can't beat a good peasant recipe...maximum flavor out of a simple set of ingredients. The pine nuts and sultanas sound intriguing. I've got all the ingredients, may give your recipe a try next weekend.  Thanks for posting such great pictures and recipe details!!

    Leftover braising sauce is always a good thing. I'm making Shepherd's Pie for dinner tonight, using leftover sauce from braising lamb shanks as the liquid. Better flavor than regular stock, and also more gelatin.

    Thanks for such a great and beautiful post!  You are the Nose-to-Tail MAN!  [​IMG]

  16. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You got to love "cucina povera" poor kitchen in Italian .Those people can cook,I mean really cook. Glad you liked it. I really do cook this close to as per the recipe I got from the book. So no reason to mess with it.Traditions exist for a reason ,in & out of the kitchen.
  17. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Excellent post Moikel. Your dish, Coda de Vaccinara, is far and away my favorite way of preparing ox tails. It, and it's sibling, Garofolato di Manza, are the quintessential beef stews of Rome. As ancient as the dishes may be they are still commonly prepared and served in many homes, trattorias, and simple restaurants, especially in the working class neighborhood of Testaccio where the slaughter houses were formerly located. Coda is also a popular street food and is served from stalls in the shell of a hard roll that has been hollowed out known as a trapizzini.

    Your recipe is quite similar to the one I use except that I use a hearty red wine rather than white. Most, but not all, Roman cooks finish the dish with sultanas, nutmeg, or bittersweet chocolate for a sweet and savory balance. Where you use the former, I use the latter. My personal tweak is the addition of pitted local olives such as Gaeta at the finish.

    When I prepare the meal it's typically a 2 day process. I take it to the point where the finishing ingredients would be added then remove it from the heat, cool, and shred the meat. I reserve and refrigerate the meat and other ingredients in separate containers. The following day I remove the solidified fat, then combine all ingredients and cook at a low simmer for about an hour. I then add the finishing ingredients and complete. We typically serve it with polenta or rigatoni. Our favored side dish with the Coda is chicory in an anchovy sauce (puntarelle in salsa di alici). My occasional tweak with that dish is the addition of sultanas. We also like it served with sweet peas with prosciutto (piselli al prosciutto).

    Thanks for the great post. You've inspired me to pick up some ox tails at the butcher to start preparing the Coda today and finish tomorrow for dinner.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  18. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Bravo!  What a great commentary to follow Moikel's great post.

    My husband and I will be passing through Rome in September. I'll make a point of stopping by a trattoria to see if we can sample these dishes.  Thanks also for your info about the 2-day process to allow time to defat the braising liquid. 

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  19. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Love oxtail, you both have my mouth watering.

    Thanks Moikel and dls.
  20. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Glad everybody liked it, fitting that there is now a tail dish in the nose to tail section. I do a northern chinese version if anybody is interested.

    I  do make it as a 2 stage process & skim fat some times but dont shred the meat.I didnt have time,we were staying in for dinner & watching Lillyhammer  with Stevie Van Zandt on the ethnic TV channel.SBS .Great food shows as well.

    I like regional food whatever the country& like the idea that this is a distinctly Roman dish. Italians are the most parochial race I have ever met who argue about food until the cows come home.The way their mother cooked it is the be all & end all.But they travel within Italy to eat other regions food because they like regional authentic food themselves.

    Around me here they are mostly southerners but my butcher is from Lazio.I live in one of 4 suburbs in a line that are very Italian.

    Lots of bitter greens as a side.Chicory,broccoletti di ra'pe ,dandelions, sort of thing.

    I make my own alici sotto olio out of our local sardine. Hell of a lot of work,cleaning 5 to 10 kg packing them in salt for a month then starting second stage.I gave a 500 gm jar to some Calabrians who did me a favour. They ate the lot in a weekend.I figure I must have the process right[​IMG].In season now just got to get to the market on the right day & clear the decks at home.I posted in way back.

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