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Vegetables and potatoes layered with meat and cooked in a crock pot. This is what pignattaccia is, a typical stew of Viterbo cuisine.

The Viterbo pignattaccia is a typical dish of the city of Viterbo. We could describe it as a sort of meat and vegetable stew although different in various respects. First, meat and vegetables are arranged in layers inside the piñata (hence the name of the dish), a terracotta pot with high edges and a lid.

Even the cuts of meat are not among the most traditional: since it is a dish of humble origins, the poorest cuts such as the head, tail and parts of the fifth quarter were used for the pignattaccia. Last but not least the difference lies in the cooking liquids : white wine, salted water and cloves. The piñata was then taken to the public oven where the residual heat from baking the bread was used to make this delicious stew.


How to prepare the piñataccia recipe

  1. First, marinate the meat with the wine , two glasses of water and the cloves for at least a couple of hours.
  2. Then get yourself an earthenware pot and start cleaning the vegetables. Peel them and cut them into 2cm chunks except the potatoes which should be cut into slices of about one centimeter.
  3. Form a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan, then a few pieces of meat and season with oil, salt and chilli pepper . Distribute a few pieces of celery, carrot and onion and a few slices of tomato . Continue alternating the layers of meat, vegetables and potatoes and seasoning each one.
  4. Pour the marinade liquid into the piñata, cover with the lid, placing a sheet of soaked and squeezed baking paper in between. This will help keep the steam inside better. Cook in the oven at 180-200°C for 2 hours.

Alternatively you can cook everything in the pressure cooker , always forming the various layers, for at least an hour. In fact, you will have to give the collagen time to dissolve and return tender meat.

If you are looking for a simpler recipe we recommend you try the meat and vegetable stew , perfect for Sunday lunch.


The piñata will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days . We recommend heating it in a pan before serving.

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