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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Osso Buco

We have a friend staying with us for the holiday weekend and I am in the mood to cook.  Last night I made Osso Buco [veal shank] rich with marrow bones, vegetables and sauce.  It takes a bit of prep and time in the oven, but the fall-off-the-bone tenderness is worth the wait.
Here is the recipe I used:
4 center cut veal shanks, cut 2-1/2 inches thick
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Lawry's seasoned salt
1/3 c. olive oil
1/4 c. vegetable oil (if needed)
1 large onion
5 ribs celery, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped and drained
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 c. water
1 c. white wine
Chicken or vegetable broth

Season both sides of the veal shanks with the Lawry's seasoned salt and pepper and dredge them in the flour.  Heat the olive oil in a deep heavy pot and brown the veal shanks on all sides.  [If the oil smokes, add a bit of vegetable oil, which can stand higher temperatures than olive oil.  As the browning process goes on, some of the flour darkens and causes a bit of smoke, that's OK.] After the veal shanks are browned, remove them from the pot and set aside.  Add the chopped carrots, onions and celery to the hot oil in the pot, stir and cover for about 5 minutes.  Next add the garlic, stir and cook uncovered for a minute.  Stir the tomato paste in the cup of water and add to the vegetables, then add the chopped tomatoes and the white wine; cook and stir for another minute.  Return the veal shanks to the pot and nestle in between the vegetables. Pour in enough chicken and/or vegetable broth to almost cover the veal.  Bring everything to a boil, cover then put in a 350 F degree oven for 2 hours.  Enjoy.

These are the basics.  If you like bay leaves, oregano, rosemary, parsley and other spices, feel free to add.  Mr. Wonderful does not like most herbs and spices so I rarely use them or "sneak" in small amounts.  Same with the vegetables; I did not want to leave a lone carrot  or garlic clove in the refrigerator so I used all that were in the drawer.  It worked.

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