Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ossobucco for dinner

Ossosbucco over saffron risotto with dill green beans and carrot curls. (Photo by Anthony Benson)

Ossobucco is an Italian dish of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, white wine and broth and traditionally served with risotto.  

I had always wanted to prepare ossobucco, and last week when Laura and Anthony were coming for dinner I decided to have it as the main dish.  Laura and Anthony are adventuresome when it comes to trying new dishes and Anthony likes pot roast which is braised in a similar manner to ossobucco. Too they are rather forgiving if a dish doesn't turn out quite as expected.
Fresh cut veal shanks from Whole Foods.
Salt and pepper the shanks and brown on both sides in 4 Tb butter in a large Dutch oven.  Remove the shanks and set aside. Finely dice one onion, two stalks of celery and mince 2 garlic cloves and add to the pot.  Stir until onions are golden brown and celery is translucent.  (About ten minutes.)
Stir in onions, celery, carrot and minced garlic.
Pour in 12 oz of dry white wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the wine is reduced by half.  Add 4 cups chicken broth and a 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes(drained) and stir until well mixed and bring back to a simmer.
Simmer veggies, wine, chicken broth and tomatoes.
Add the browned shanks to the pot.  The liquid should almost cover the shanks.  Bring back to a full simmer.
Add browned shanks to the pot and bring to a full simmer.
Cover the pot and cook in a 350 degree oven until the meat is almost falling off the bone, about two hours.  Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside (tent with aluminum foil to keep warm) while you boil the liquid in the pot to reduce it to a sauce.  You can add a cornstarch slurry to help thicken the sauce (1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a couple of teaspoons of water).

To serve, place a shank over a serving of risotto, add the sauce and top with a garnish of gremolata (minced parsley, garlic and lemon zest).

Ossobucco over risotto, topped with sauce and garnished with gremolata. (Photo by Anthony Benson)

This was delicious---a great success!  Next time I may serve with mashed potatoes instead of risotto.  Risotto must be stirred constantly while cooking, and it was difficult stirring the risotto at the same time I was reducing the liquid of the ossobucco to a sauce. Laura came to the rescue and stirred the risotto while I was tending the reduction of the liquid to a sauce.

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