Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Beef Chronicles: Ossobuco in Bianco

January is always dubbed The Budget Month, as people tighten their belts after weeks of holiday extravagance, and turn to pantry staples for their dinners. I'm all for that, believing there is a time and a season for everything, so I don't expect anyone to rush out and purchase a brown paper package of fresh veal shanks upon reading this recipe.

But you should. Oh, trust me, it would be the best thing you've done all year.

Now before I lead you to think that we have thrown frugality to the winds at Under the High Chair, let me assure you, we are eating basic home cooking along with the rest of you this month. This particular Ossobuco feast was enjoyed back in December; in fact, it rather kicked off a slew of dinner parties that lasted for two weeks straight and only came to a screeching halt as we said adieu to 2009.

What a shame.

It may or may not surprise you that I have never prepared ossobuco before, well from scratch, anyway. Sure I served about 87 plates of it during my One Night With Rocco (DiSpirito), but that was merely a heat n' shave truffles n' serve kind of deal, as he flew the ossobuco in from NYC already cooked (no comment).

Ever since we purchased a calf (and the Beef Chronicles were born), I've had the lovely veal shanks in my freezer, just waiting to fulfill their destiny and give me a chance to make ossobuco.
Of course, rebellious me didn't want to go the traditional route with tomatoes & red wine, but instead chose a recipe from my beloved River Cafe Cookbook for a 'White' ossobuco that uses anchovies, white wine and celery instead.

We loved every morsel. I served it with the traditional Risotto Milanese (that had been perfumed with fresh-bought saffron) and we were in carnivore heaven.

Sure, the bank account is a lot less padded after the holidays, but you may just want to start a change jar labeled 'Ossobuco Fund'. At least, that's the best idea I've got. There's no more shank in my freezer and I DO have to try the traditional way now, right?

Ossobuco in Bianco

From the River Cafe Cook Book
Serves 6

8 or more veal or beef ossobuco bones, at least 2 inches across
75g plain flour
salt and fresh ground pepper
120g butter
2 tbs of olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 celery sticks, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
9 salted anchovies
½ bottle dry white wine

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 300F

Dust each piece of ossoebuco meat with flour and salt and pepper.
In a large, heavy bottomed casserole dish or pot (I used a Dutch oven) melt half the butter and the oil and seal the ossobuco on each side.

Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.Pour the fat away for the pot, then add remaining butter and gently fry the celery and onion until they are soft but not too brown.

Add garlic and anchovies to the onion mixture and mash them together for a minute or 2 with a fork. Pour in the wine and bring to the boil and reduce a bit.
Carefully put the ossobuco back in the big pot, arranging the shanks to that they make on layer in the bottom of the pot. Scoop some of the celery/onion mixture on their tops.

Cut a circle out of parchment paper the size of the pot and cover ossobuco with it. Cover pot with lid and place in oven

Cook for at least 2 - 2.1/2 hours. Liquid will reduce and veal will become quite tender.

Mean while, prepare gremolata by stirring together the finely chopped garlic, lemon zest and chopped parsley.
Carefully transfer ossobuco to a serving platter and sprinkle with gremolata.
Serve with Risotto Milanese.

More Beef Chronicles:

In Which we Buy A Cow

An Introduction

Rib Steak With Red-Wine Butter

Rosemary-Garlic Marinated T-Bone

Cumin-Scented Kebabs

Sesame-Beef Lettuce Wraps

Beef Tacos with Salsa Cruda

Classic Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding

Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Purée

Steak au Poivre & Sweet Potato Fries


Maria said...

Sounds like it is worth the splurge! Great photos!

Hippo Flambe said...

Last year right after the holidays we were experiencing a spending freeze. In the fall I had bought a local lamb so this meant we had to make do with dinners such as roast leg of lamb, lamb chops etc. I believe one of the best ways to be frugal with your money is to stock the freezer when you can.

Do you think there is a large difference using beef shanks instead of veal? I have a beef share keeping my lamb company in the freezer this year.


Candace said...

This looks mouth watering!! One thing I've recently discovered (after a disappointing visit to Bison Osso Bucco town -- it's hard to get right, turns tough if not done very slowly and doesn't reheat well, tasty though) is PORK osso bucco. It's very versatile, lends itself well to this application and often cheaper. It's no veal, but worth playing with.
I'm all about the shank so I will definitely be trying your Ossobuco in Bianco.
Cheers! -C.

Momline said...

I've made osso bucco, but never "bianco" style.
Thanks for giving me another option for one of my favourites!


Valérie said...

Osso bucco is one of my favourite dishes ever! I think it was the first dish I was ever proud of making... I usually make it traditional, or al limone, but this sounds really, really good. I never thought of anchovies!

Peter M said...

The shanks used to be cheap but I think they are still worth the splurge and it's such an easy dish.

The only thing I'll make sure to do next time is to tie them up.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Sounds interesting. I didn't really know what it was until your post. Thanks for sharing.

Shaina said...

This looks fantastic. I definitely need to find a veal shank or six to make this. I'm thinking early Valentine's dinner.

Tiffany Rieder said...

love osso buco...first made it in cooking school... I appreciate the twist and am planning on trying a "white: coq au vin....also. I'll give your recipe a try...what do you think of pork shank ossobuco?

Kirsten said...

I'll have to try this recipe; I made traditional osso buco a couple months ago and was quite disappointed with the results:( For something that took so long to cook, it really lacked flavour!
This one looks great and when you do try a traditional osso buco recipe, let me know how it works out! I still can't figure out what went wrong...

Abby said...

I watch *so* much food television - not just FoodTV, but cooking shows in general! (Lidia, too! etc.) I've seen osso bucco so many times and always wondered about it. I didn't realize it was expensive! I have a lot to learn.

Elizabeth said...

Mmmm, we used to prepare this quite regularly when I was worked in restaurants. So delicious and one of the only dishes I can think of actually looked pretty and appetizing with big bones protruding from the plate.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Theese would be worth the time, effort and cost Aimee.

Emily said...

My, my. Does that look good. I've never had ossobuo in my life. Isn't that a shame?

With risotto?? Oh my goodness.

Jan (Mixing Bowl Kids) said...

Oh, yum! I love Osso Bucco and have kind of forgotten about it, but now that you've reminded me, I'm bookmarking this recipe and will attempt to make it for a little mid-winter cheer up one night.

Cheri said...

Your Ossobuco looks delicious. I have seen it popping up everywhere lately and it has never really appealed to me... until now. Super yum!

I went back and read your "One night with Rocco". My goodness, some people's children... tsk.. tsk :) What a crazy guy. Definitely makes for a good story though. :)

Melissa said...

How yummy! And with risotto-how luxurious!

Haidi said...

Mmmm. a lovely departure from the traditional fare. I have to put in a good word for lamb osso bucco, although there is not much marrow to be had.

LyB said...

"Ossobuco Fund"... Yes, I'm getting a jar right now! I love Ossobuco and I've made it the traditional way before, it was just heavenly with the gremolata. Now I have to try your recipe!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

It's fun to have a favorite "splurge" dish. I like the idea of having a labeled jar just for that.

Cheryl Arkison said...

I've never heard of white osso bucco. I love the sound of it.

Barbara said...

My mother used to make ossobuco all the time. And must have done it from memory (or talent) because we found nothing written down in her recipe file.
Will be copying your recipe to try!

gabriel said...

Actually, to be completely accurate, Osso buco bianco is the older (traditional) version. Tomatoes were only introduced to Italy in the 19th century and this dish is much older than that. That being said the version with tomatoes is by far the better known. and more commonly prepared version. Osso buco in any form however, is one of my all time favorites. True comfort food!

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