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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Osso Buco alla Milanese

Osso Buco is one of my all time favorite meals to order when I'm in a restaurant. I've made it twice before at home, and I'm not sure why I don't make it more often. It is so simple and delicious. Osso Buco is basically veal shanks braised with vegetables, wine, beef stock, and tomatoes. The previous two times I made it, I used a recipe from either a magazine or one of my three thousand cookbooks. Needless to say, I no longer had any idea where to lay my hands on that recipe (this happens to me all the time, and I am hoping this blog will help me out - I'll never lose my Osso Buco recipe again!). I searched around and found a new recipe in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library book on "Beef". The only things I changed were: the amounts, so that it better served a family of four without a week's worth of leftovers, and I substituted a can of tomatoes for fresh.

To make this recipe quicker for a work night, I did steps 1-4, the evening before and then dug out the user manual for my oven and learned how to program the start time so it came on at 4pm (this was WAY harder than making the Osso Buco!). But I figured out the oven timer with only a 'little' bad language and was immensely pleased with myself when I came in the door from work to the smell of dinner, already in the works. I threw some potatoes in the oven, opened a bottle of wine and sliced some fresh bread....

Osso Buco alla Milanese
(serves 4)

1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
4 veal shanks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
3/4 cup white wine
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemon rind curls
5 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1. Mix flour, salt and pepper. Coat veal shanks.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in skillet and brown veal shanks on both sides (7-10 minutes per side). Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp butter in same pan and cook diced vegetables until tender (10-15 minutes).

4. In a large covered casserole dish (I use a roasting pan) spread vegetables, place veal shanks on top. Add wine and tomatoes and beef stock.

5. Cover and place in a preheated 350F over for 1.5 hours. If you are making this ahead like I did, add 30 minutes to the cooking time since it won't already be hot when your oven comes on.

6. Mix gremolata and sprinkle on top of the shanks for the last 5 minutes of cooking.