December 11, 2014
Beef Osso Bucco with Milanese Barley Risotto ♥ A day in the life......
The boss is somewhere around Picadilly Circus trying to get used to sitting on the right passenger side of his ride. My morning was all about negotiating the traffic around Laguardia Airport. I think we were both out of our element.
A cold, damp day that can't quite decide if it wants to rain, hail or snow so it's doing all three.
I spent the rest of my late afternoon chasing away two deer trying to hog in on our resident squirrel's private stash of pumpkins.
Every year we buy four pumpkins (one for each step) and once Thanksgiving is over, the gorging starts and the whole pumpkin feeds our buddy right up till Christmas. I always feel good when the ground freezes and they have food. Once the deer discover them, they will be gone in one day.
About a month ago I spotted beef shanks and grabbed the last two. I often buy something hard to find knowing I have no idea what I would make with them. A great reason to have a free standing freezer.
The other day I was searching for new hot spot eatery in DC and stumbled on an Osso Buco made with beef instead of veal. Yes, Serious Eats also does recipes.
The perfect foul weather dinner, oven or slow cooker + minimal work = yum.
Osso Buco is often served on top of a decadent Risotto Milanese but rice is no longer welcome in my house so instead of a rice risotto, I made a Barley Risotto (regular with saffron in the stock).
The recipe calls for using a slow cooker, but I used my Dutch Oven placed on a back burner for 3 hours.
If you have never eaten Osso Bucco, you really should make this version. Veal shanks can be expensive, not to mention almost impossible to find unless you have a butcher. This beef version (veal is baby beef) is just as good. Trust me on this. I have eaten Osso Buco in Lidia's Becco and this is right up there.
Good news, The Nudge doesn't like slow braised meals, so the timing was perfect.
Slow Cooked Beef Shank Osso Buco
For the Shanks:
* 4 cross-cut, bone-in beef shanks (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
* 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
* 2 carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup) * 1 stalk celery, diced (about 3/4 cup)
* 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
* 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 4 sprigs thyme
* 2 bay leaves
* Pinch ground cloves
For the Gremolata:
* 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 lemons
* 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
For the Shanks: Pat shanks dry using a paper towel. Place 1 cup flour on a plate. Season beef with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add meat and cook without moving until well browned on first side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on second side, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Add onion, carrots, and celery to the Dutch oven, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin have softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic. Stir and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.
Transfer the contents to a slow cooker and add stock, vinegar, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and ground clove. Season with salt and pepper and cook on low until meat is tender, about 6 hours.
Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Skim fat from the sauce and transfer 1/2 cup of gravy to a medium saucepan. Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour into the reserved gravy until no lumps remain. Add the rest of the sauce to the saucepan. Whisking frequently, bring the sauce to a rolling boil over high heat and cook until the sauce achieves a gravy-like consistency, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Gremolata: Meanwhile, combine parsley, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl.
Arrange shanks on a spoonful of risotto on a plate and spoon sauce on top. Garnish with gremolata and serve.