Friday, 9 January 2009

Tyler's Osso Buco with Gremolata

One of the things I love about Tyler Florence Fridays is the freedom to choose which dish we want to make each week. So when hubby came upstairs from visiting the little chest freezer in the basement and asked if I remembered that we still had some osso buco shanks, I knew what I would be cooking this week.

This is actually the first time I have cooked osso buco, quite possibly the first time I have eaten it. The dish in itself is a warming, filling, one pot meal, great for snowy weather. And brother, we have snow.

I halved the recipe, which is to say: I cooked 2 shanks and used half of the tomatoes, wine and beef broth. I kept the same amount of seasonings and vegetables and made the full amount of gremolata. I like big flavour.
I have also learned from previous experience that braising in the oven in a cast iron pot needs a lower temperature than, say, a ceramic casserole. 325f. is ample for my oven.

The dish was heavenly. The meat was fall-apart tender, the sauce rich and flavourful - lots of zesty citrus elements, due to my using the whole amount of lemon zest. And the gremolata was divine. Make no mistake, you have to be a fan of citrus zest for this recipe. I am. Yum.


Osso Buco with Gremolata -Tyler Florence, Real Kitchen
About 3 hours, serves 4.

Osso Buco:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces veal shank for osso bucco
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips with a vegetable peeler
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bottle dry red wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-sodium beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes, hand-crushed

Gremolata:
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (I used almonds)
1 anchovy fillet
2 garlic cloves
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Directions:
Put the flour in a large shallow platter and season it with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Get in the habit of always tasting your flour; once it coats the veal it is harder to adjust the seasoning. Dredge the veal shanks in the seasoned flour and then tap off the excess (extra flour will burn and make the dish off-tasting).
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and hit it with a 3-count drizzle of oil. Add the butter and swirl it around the pan to melt. Sear the veal shanks, turning carefully with tongs, until all sides are a rich brown caramel color. Drizzle with a little more oil, if needed. (Do this in batches if the shanks are big and look crowded in the pot.) Remove the browned veal shanks to a side plate. There will be a lot of flavor left over in the bottom of the pot. You're going to use that to create your sauce.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (I use a cast iron dutch oven, which holds a lot of heat. 325f. is enough for the cast iron pot)
Using the same pot, saute the onion, celery, carrots, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, and parsley over medium heat. Cook the vegetables down until they start to get some color and develop a deep, rich aroma. Season with salt and pepper; add a little oil if needed. Nestle the veal shanks back in the pot. Pour in the wine and let it simmer down for 20 minutes, until the wine has reduced by half. Reducing is key for intense flavor. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir everything together. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Braise for 1 and a 1/2 hours. Then remove the cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and the veal tender and nearly falling off the bone. Remove bay leaves.
*I garnished with an orange wheel and flat leaf parsley.

For the gremolata:
Finely chop the pine nuts. Combine them with the garlic and anchovy together in a mini chopper or with a mortar and pestle. Fold that into the orange zest and parsley. Scatter the gremolata over the Osso Bucco before serving.



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