the appetizer:

Osteria by Rick Tramonto explores a restaurant chef's passion for Italian food, including recipes for Charred Squash with Balsamic Vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano Zucca Arrostita con Balsamico e Parmigiano-Reggiano; Roman Braised Oxtail Brasata di Cota di Bue; and Sauté of Trout with Pumpkin and Anisette Trota con Zucca and Anisetta.



Roman Braised Oxtail
(Brasata di Cota di Bue)

Serves 4

Braised Oxtail


Oxtail is an underutilized meat, at least in this country. Europeans are more apt to appreciate its rich, full flavor. If you've ever tasted good oxtail soup, you know what I mean. Oxtail is a humble ingredient, to be sure, but full of flavor. This is a simple, straightforward recipe that, like many braises, has a long list of ingredients with an easy method and a satisfyingly mouthwatering end result.

  • 3 oxtails (about 5 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 6 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Stems from 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup celery leaves, from the heart
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1. Chop the oxtails into 6-inch-long pieces. Using a paring knife, score the length of each oxtail piece so that each one has about 6 cuts going all the way around it. This will loosen the tendons and make the meat easier to remove.

2. Lightly sprinkle the oxtail pieces with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

4. Heat a roasting pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, put 1/2 cup of olive oil in the pan. When the olive oil is hot, sear the oxtail pieces in the pan and brown on all sides. Remove the oxtails from the pan. Drain and discard the olive oil.

5. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil to the pan and cook the pancetta for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is lightly browned and has rendered most of its fat.

6. Add the celery, carrot, and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, until they begin to soften and brown. Stir the tomato paste into the pan and when heated through add the parsley stems, cloves, bay leaf, and red pepper.

7. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits. Let the wine boil for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half.

8. Return the oxtail pieces to the pan. Add the tomatoes and stock. The oxtail pieces should just be covered by the liquid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hour, until the meat is easy to pull from the bone.

9. Stir in the vinegar and let the oxtail pieces cool in the braising liquid to room temperature. Lift the oxtail pieces from the cooled liquid and cut all the meat from the bone. Discard the bones and set the meat aside.

10. Remove and discard the parsley stems and bay leaf and then return the meat to the braising liquid. Stir in the celery leaves, pine nuts, and lemon zest. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or reheat right away and serve.

The Sommelier Recommends

When we see the bottle with the dark black, flowery script against a tan or green label, we automatically start to salivate! There is no wine in the world that provides a total sensory experience like the Amarone from Giuseppe Quintarelli. He releases his dark, heady, smoky, chocolaty elixir sometimes 10 years later than his competitors, and patience is rewarded in the glass of the drinker.

  • from:
    Hearty Italian Fare from Rick Tramonto's Kitchen
  • by Rick Tramonto and Mary Goodbody
  • Broadway Books 2008
  • Hardcover; 288 pages; $35.00
  • ISBN-10: 0767927710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7679-2771-0
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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