there’s a pretty amusing backstory as to why i created this dish, but that’s for another day. what i will say is that it was quite fabulous. the sauce wound up taking on a life if its own, as at one point a bad flick of the wrist had rendered it nearly inedible and it needed to be somehow fixed. luckily the culinary gods were with me and i had on hand just the very thing to bring it back home with grace. honestly, this was a serious sauce… and having no formal training whatsoever, i was really pleased that not only was it saved, but it was enhanced tenfold.
veal shanks. a beautiful cut of meat. perfect for a winter’s braise. osso buco. something i love to cook that hadn’t seen rotation in awhile. i don’t use the typical ingredients so perhaps this particular treatment of the shanks can no longer be considered ‘osso buco’, translated as ‘pierced bone’. but regardless of its proper name, it was superb.
i’m avoiding the recipe format because this dish just came along on its own. i urge you to make this – and to wing it. keep tasting. then adjust. i posted about this awhile back and there you’ll find a similar recipe for reference.
flour, salt and pepper the meat and brown in olive oil. remove from the pan and set aside. add about 5 oz of finely minced pancetta until it’s rendered and browned. next add about 4 finely minced anchovies (the good ones that need to be filleted). when they melt away, next to go in is about 3 cloves of finely minced garlic. after about a minute pour about 10 oz of white wine – i used a pinot grigio – and reduce. return the veal to the pan and add veal stock (chicken will do…) about halfway up the sides of the meat.
braise for about 90 minutes, basting often. the remaining liquid was strained through a chinois and put back on the stove. i added about 3 oz (maybe more) of butter in pieces until it was glassy and coated the spoon. then i tasted. too salty. damn. DAMN. anchovies are salty little buggers and i threw in a healthy pinch of salt not long after i added them. silly girl. not good. what to do? slight panic. think, claudia, think.
i spy a bottle on the shelf under my kitchen work table. it’s port. so i grab it and add some to a small espresso cup of the sauce. EXCELLENT. then i added about 5 oz of port – incrementally – to the rest. FREAKIN UNREAL. did i just make this? yes? high five!
the polenta was made the good old fashioned way. water, salt and the polenta stirred for about 15 minutes and then left alone to do its thing. when it was done it was hit with a sizable amount of mascarpone. the brussels sprouts were simply caramelized in oil, butter and salt.
definitely rich. definitely a winter dish. wonderful nuanced home cooking, layered with great flavors.
you go girl.