Sunday, February 27, 2011

Osso Buco

It's going to snow in San Francisco... it's going to snow in San Francisco... NOT! After a non-stop hoopla in the news in the past week, snow did not arrive in San Francisco this weekend. Although it was cold, it was sunny all weekend long and it reminded me of the days when Arthur just laid out on the balcony or in front of the window enjoying the sun. My beautiful dog Arthur passed away 2 weeks ago because of lymphoma cancer, he came to my life, turned it up side down for good and I missed him dearly.

I made this Simply Recipes' Osso Buco in expectation that it would be an overcast wet and cold weekend and in memory of Arthur because I know that he would enjoy gnawing the bone marrow out of the shanks. I couldn't find any veal shanks so I used beef shanks instead which means I had to cook it for another hour to get it tender. I served this delicious goodness on top of steamed white rice, sprinkle with gremolata and a side of Stir-fried Yu Choi and Shiitake Mushroom.

1/4 pound pancetta, diced 1/4 inch cubes (do not substitute bacon)
2-1/2 to 3 pounds veal shanks (4 to 6 pieces 2-3 inches thick)
1/2 cup diced carrot (1/4 inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch cubes)
1 medium onion, diced 1/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons (about 4 cloves) chopped garlic
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 cup dry white wine
1-2 cups chicken or veal stock
flour for dusting the meat before browning
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons minced flat (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Heat a dutch oven on the stove top over medium heat for about five minutes. Add pancetta to pan, cook, stirring occasionally. When the pancetta is crispy and most of the fat has rendered (about 5 minutes of cooking), remove the pancetta to a plate covered with some paper towel and set aside. If necessary, drain off all but two tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  • Season the veal shank well with salt and pepper. Dredge the veal shanks through some flour, shake off any excess, and add the meat to the hot fat in the pan. Increase the heat to medium high and cook the meat on each side until well browned (about 5 minutes per side). Remove the shanks to a plate, set aside.
  • Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the dutch oven. Cook the onion mixture, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about five minutes) and toss in the garlic and thyme. Continue cooking until the vegetables just begin to brown (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the shanks and the pancetta back to the pan. Pour in the wine, and then add enough stock to come a little more than half way up the side of the shanks. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and put it in the oven to cook until the meat is tender, about 2-2.5 hours.
  • Combine the gremolata ingredients, place in a separate small serving dish.

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