another first for me. i had bought the shank on a whim and promptly put it in my freezer. so now, about a month later and before it got too warm to dine on braised meat in a rich sauce, i decided to try my hand at the classic dish, osso buco.and then i looked in nearly every book i own, and then online – and after some serious consideration, decided to go with a more non-traditional take on the dish. no mirepoix for me, no tomato, no gremolata. instead, based on what i’d read and after poking around my pantry and fridge, i devised what i believe to be an ‘original plan’ for my shank.
but first i googled ‘anchovies and pancetta’ to see if they’d ever been known to co-mingle in a bonafide recipe. and sure enough, marcella hazan in her book ‘marcella says’, does a pot roast called ‘arrosto di manzo alla novarese’ – beefy chuck roast, stovetop-braised in the style of novara in piemonte, using both anchovies and pancetta (along with mustard and vinegar). and dear readers, that was all i needed to know…i served the osso buco with a polenta barely tinged with some parmigiano, alongside some french beans quickly sauteed in olive oil and garlic. but as good as the veal was – and it was really so very good, the marrow was just otherworldly. scooped out with my tiny espresso spoons onto some ciabatta… the pinnacle of umami.
osso buco alla ceF
4 veal shank sliced in 2 – 3 inch pieces
2 – 3 T olive oil
flour for dredging
salt and pepper
3 ounces pancetta – finely chopped
5 or 6 anchovies – finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
white wine – 1 1/2 cup
veal or chicken stock – about 2 cups
lightly flour the shank pieces and then salt and pepper
brown the shanks well on both sides in the olive oil remove to a plate and set aside
add the pancetta to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes on low to medium heat
add the anchovies for about another 3 minutes and then the garlic for another 2
deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce it down almost all the way
add back the veal and cover the meat halfway with the stock
cover the pan and simmer for 90 minutes remove the shanks carefully.
i didn’t tie mine and they held together just fine. strain the liquid that’s left in the pan (i saved the pancetta pieces for a pizza later in the week) and then return strained liquid – i had about 2/3 cup, to the pan and then add about 2 or 3 T butter to make a sauce.
taste, adjust, serve.
oh, and fresh blackberries with melted pralus madagascar chocolate for dessert. eaten with our fingers, without a care in the world…