osso buco redux

January 25th, 2010 · 23 Comments

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.


Tags: polenta · veal

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 maggie // Jan 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Yum! Port is a brilliant addition. Love seeing you in your kitchen, too!

  • 2 Jennifer Hess // Jan 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Fabulous. I’ve been playing a lot with port lately, too – it just has a certain something. Sweet but not cloying.

  • 3 Pam // Jan 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful dish, Claudia; a perfect winter dinner. And another great blog post!

  • 4 The Italian Dish // Jan 25, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I had to laugh – I’ve done the same thing in adding too much salt in dishes that contain anchovies. Youch. Your solution was brilliant and one that I will remember.

  • 5 CeeElCee // Jan 25, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Genius! But then again, I already knew that.

    I have several bottles of port around the house that I don’t even drink often enough, much less cook with them. This should be fun.

  • 6 Robert // Jan 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Your supposed to fillet the anchovies? That explains it……….

  • 7 Jim Voorhies // Jan 25, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Anchovies are just too damn small to filet but using more wine is good sense.

  • 8 Jim Voorhies // Jan 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    By the way, there’s an iPhone app called foodspotting that’s supposed to be better for food shots than the plain iPhone camera.

  • 9 Jim Voorhies // Jan 25, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Never mind – it’s like a Twitpic for food.

  • 10 Donald // Jan 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    i knew it!

    great dish Claudia! luv the improv.

  • 11 erik organic // Jan 26, 2010 at 12:32 am

    This is a great dish! I like it! I have been playing with port these past few days.

  • 12 Emily Walters // Jan 26, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Gorgeous Claudia! I love the sprouts. That plate is me. Nice save with the port but I gotta say it’s obvious I haven’t been over there in a while since you have all this booze on hand. I’m derelict in my duties.

  • 13 Greg // Jan 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Perhaps splitting hairs, but why would this not be considered osso buco? Regionally, I’ve had many different interpretations – which all amount to braised veal shanks.

    Can’t usually abide by the taste of port, but good save!

  • 14 laura // Jan 26, 2010 at 10:57 am

    If someone makes you Osso Bucco, you know you are loved. Such a fabulous dish – my stepfather makes a great rendition – sounds like your version is a contender. Enjoyed the post.

  • 15 lo // Jan 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Not sure if I should curse you or thank you. You’ve given me a serious craving. And it doesn’t help that I have some brussels sprouts languishing in the fridge …

  • 16 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Jan 27, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Good save, and you came up with a more unique recipe. You turned a mistake into a moment of brilliance. I wish all of my mistakes turned out that way!

    You can always cut salt by adding more fat too, but who would want to do that? No me. No way. *looks around and whistles*

    I love your nice bright kitchen!

  • 17 Jose Canseco // Jan 27, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Normally I find your blog is pretentious and condescending, but osso bucco is awesome, so props to you.

  • 18 rach // Jan 27, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I get it.
    Thats the way to cook and eat.
    I love osso buco.
    When are you coming to Rome, my butcher will love you and he has some seriously nice stuff.

  • 19 Marie // Jan 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    That looks crazy good! I love that shot of you, that should be your profile pic.

  • 20 we are never full // Jan 31, 2010 at 10:11 am

    lol… look at all that flour. nice pic. oh, and pass me that marrow. stat.

  • 21 kate // Feb 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    wow, look at that, I’m already drooling, great color, looks delicious

  • 22 Don // Apr 27, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Yum! Port is a brilliant addition. Love seeing you in your kitchen, too!

  • 23 mutuelle // Jun 7, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Thanks much for the great blog.

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