Saturday, February 09, 2008

Osso Buco

I'm back. Due to some technical difficulties, I've had a bit of an internet vacation. But not a cooking vacation.

The first thing I want to tell you about is the osso buco I made. When I go to the St Lawrence Market each week, I am also interested in what is inexpensive. A couple weeks ago the beef shanks caught my eye. My mom suggested I could use it in osso buco. Now, my understanding is that veal shank is traditional in osso buco, but it's also about three times the price. I figured using the beef would be okay, and I would just cook it a little longer.
This meat cost about 8 dollars Canadian. Paul and I each ate two meals from it.

The internet seems to have two different kinds of osso buco recipes: those with canned tomotoes, and those without. I decided to make the kind with less tomatoes. I also noticed that most recipes have celery - but due to my long standing dislike of celery, I decided I could do without it too.

Now, sometimes when I decide to make something I have never had, I am disappointed. But this was much better than I was expecting. It was very easy and very hearty tasting. Perfect for a snowy day. I think this will be a winter staple for me now.

Osso Buco
(serves two, adapted from Everyday Italian)

1 beef shank (it will weight around one pound)
2 cloves garlic, slightly crushed with the side of the knife
1 sprig rosemarry
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chopped carrots (I like to cut these pretty small)
1 small chopped onion
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup white wine
1-2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper

1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Brown both sides in a hot dutch over with the oil, about 3-4 mins per side. Set aside on a plate.
2. Add carrots and onions to the dutch oven and cook until softened. Add tomato paste and cook an additional minent.
3. Add white wine, bring to a boil for 1-2 mins. (I like to do this to cook off some of the alcohol.)
4. Return beef to pot, add herbs and garlic(you could put them in some cheese cloth, but I don't bother). Add enough chicken stock to come up about 3/4 of the way up the beef.
5. Simer covered for about 3 hours.

This also reheats really well. I would store the beef and sauce separately, so that you can remove any fat from the sauce.

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