I blogged about Osso Buco way back when in culinary school, but now shit's about to get real. I'm not some bright eyed (ha...) culinary student waking up at 4:45am anymore (quiver.)
I am someone's wife...and tonight it's date night....well, Friday was date night, but you get it.
Richard and I have received some pretty awesome advice over our time together... two of our favorites being "always have date night," and "once a week, tell each other everything that is bugging you about the other person." So, we have started combining the two. A romantic dinner for two followed by one (or two) bottles of wine and some hefty conversation. Sounds miserable, but after some wine I tend to get chatty and lovey, so it really ends up working out in everyone's favor. Once I'm a little tipsy you can tell me I'm a huge crazy bitch and I'll probably just start making out with you. (Don't get any ideas.... I'm a married woman now---butterflies.)
So, on this weeks menu we had Osso Buco served with saffron risotto and an amazing Barolo. I'm pretty sure I have said before that my favorite things to cook are those that take patience and hours braising in wine. There's nothing like the smell that wafts through the house on a braised short ribs or coq au vin kinda night. Mmm. Osso Buco is just that. Veal shanks braised in stock and wine.... an Italian delicacy. Served with saffron risotto this dish is to die for. And you MUST drink a nice heavy Italian red.... my fave being a good Barolo.
We got some pretty wonderful cookbooks as wedding gifts, so in my attempt to romantically cook my way through them- this recipe can also be found in Williams Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook. (Thank you Erin and Joe!)
Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto
3/4 cup four
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 center cut veal shanks
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup beef stock (more as needed)
1 can (28oz) Roma tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 tsp orange zest, chopped
2 springs fresh thyme
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
Parsley, chopped for garnish
Saffron risotto (recipe here)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour with salt and pepper and spread on a plate. Dredge the veal shanks in the flour mixture and coat evenly. Shake off excess flour.
In a heavy, oven proof pan with a tight fitting lid (large enough for both shanks in a single layer) heat olive oil over high heat. Place the veal in the pan and brown evenly, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Set veal aside.
In the same pan, brown onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and bay leaves with a pinch of salt. Cook until golden brown, but be careful not to burn. Cook about 8-10 minutes.
Add the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring to loosen up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, orange zest, and herbs and cook for about 5 minutes.
Return the veal shanks to the pan. The tomato mixture should cover the shanks about 2/3 of the way... if not the add a little more stock. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and braise in the oven for 2 hours, turning the shanks every 30 minutes to ensure even braising. If the liquid gets too low while cooking, add more stock.
When the shanks are done, they will be extremely tender. Remove the shanks and set aside. Discard the bay leaves and reduce the sauce until it is a nice velvety consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon sauce over the shank and place on top of risotto. Garnish with chopped parsley and a big glass of wine.
this one is WONDERFUL!
P.S. Osso Buco literally means "bone with a hole" referring to the extremely flavorful marrow lodged in the middle of each shank bone. I save this part for Marco.