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Cucina romana

Queue at Vaccinara

Roman cuisine is full of dishes rich in flavor and with an inviting aroma: the Vaccinara tail competes for the podium with other inviting courses that enrich Sunday lunches when the family gathered around the table talks about each other and brings back sweet memories.

The tail and the fifth quarter

The Vaccinara tail is, together with the heart , liver , lungs and other offal, a fundamental part of the fifth quarter .

This cut of meat was mistreated until recently and relegated to the food of the poor. It has dusted off its allure thanks to the wise minds of visionary chefs who have chosen to make Italian tradition their futuristic vision.

Thanks to this detail, the Vaccinara tail is back in fashion and, thanks to apparently risky combinations, it adapts to modern times by welcoming revolutionary ingredients capable of surprising.

The queue at Vaccinara and its origins

Coda alla Vaccinara is a typical dish of the Roman tradition , in particular there is a curious anecdote that links the dish to one of the most famous working-class neighborhoods of the Italian capital: Testaccio .

It seems that here, at Testaccio, and more precisely at the kiosk in Piazza del Vecchio Mattatoio , the undisputed queen was Mrs. Oberdana, defined by the greediest of the Coda alla Vaccinara as the queen of the fifth quarter.

Thanks - also - to her, and to her skill and meticulousness in working with this particular cut of meat, dishes such as tripe, tail and pajata have gone beyond the city borders and invaded other regions of the Bel Paese.

The name of the Vaccinara queue comes from the vaccinia , i.e. herdsmen who took care of the grazing of the cows or the blue tits, residing above all in the Regola district which still today holds - and jealously proclaims - the honor of creating the recipe.

The oxtail tail: the recipe

As tradition is respected, to be defined as such a dish must undergo long and slow cooking , but at the same time, capable of releasing a unique and inimitable flavour.

To make a great dish you need to work hard by choosing top quality ingredients and adding, taking inspiration from an imaginative touch, innovative ingredients that manage to increase the flavor without distorting it.


  • 1 beef tail
  • 3 slices of lard
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 garlic
  • cloves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 glasses of dry white wine
  • 300 g of peeled red tomatoes
  • 5 or 6 sticks of white celery
  • handful of pine nuts, raisins and grated dark chocolate

Step by step process

The beginning of the recipe starts from the protagonist ingredient!

  1. Wash the tail in plenty of running water and then pat it dry
  2. Place an earthenware pan on the heat and fry the onion, garlic, carrots, cloves and lard.
  3. Cut the tail into pieces, add to the sauce and brown the meat
  4. Add the white wine, cover with a lid and leave to evaporate for at least a quarter of an hour, adjust with salt and pepper
  5. Lower the heat, add the tomatoes and leave on the heat for an hour
  6. When the mixture has thickened, add some water, taking care to check from time to time, and continue cooking for five or six hours, in any case until the meat falls away from the bone.

The celery

  1. Near the end of cooking, put another pan on the heat in which you will boil the white celery stalks previously cleaned and removed from the filaments.
  2. In a pan with low sides, toast the pine nuts, raisins and dark chocolate, add a ladle of tail sauce and the celery

When the sauce has reduced, remove the tail from the heat and serve! The dish is ready, tradition is pressing and your stomach is rumbling, what's missing? Legs under the table!

The extra touch? Instead of hot water, prefer meat broth, the flavor will be enhanced and the dish will acquire a small added value, the secret that makes grandmother the perfect and inimitable cook!